Despite not being able to travel, JNF has kept the connection to Israel alive through Zionist education in the community.
Throughout the pandemic, JNF has extended their educational impact in schools through virtual Israel tours and interactive sessions on dealing with anti-Israel rhetoric. Their latest ‘My Israel Passport’ collectable sticker book has also allowed children as young as four years old to commence their introduction to various aspects of Israeli society. As of late, thousands of children have competed to complete their educational and recyclable passports, encouraging them to form a tangible link to Israel.
An important member of JNF’s in-school program is Yigal Nisell, JNF’s New South Wales’ education shaliach, who has become a permanent feature in the classroom. Students can find him on any given day playing Israeli Trivia Twister, exploring an interactive map of Israel or teaching about different aspects of the start-up nation. Lynda Fischer, Head of Primary at Moriah College, has said that JNF’s in-school initiatives are “well thought-out, respectful of the pressure inside of schools and impactful”.
Eldad Shoham, JNF’s Victorian Education Officer, has recently visited AZYC winter camps, including those run by Habonim Dror Melbourne, Hineni Melbourne and Tzofim Melbourne, where he ran fun and engaging programs with participants on the topics of Israel, the vibrant and diverse society found there, Israeli history and Zionism.
Part of JNF’s upcoming events is a one-night-only movie screening of the breathtaking documentary by Israeli producer Levi Zini titled Yerusalem: The Incredible Story of Ethiopian Jewry.
Since 2018, more than 200 educators have visited Israel though JNF’s Educator Missions to deepen their understanding of Israel and to develop the skills to incorporate Zionist education in secular and Jewish school curriculum. This tradition is continuing in 2021 with 100 educators from 26 schools participating to make the sights, sounds, textures and flavours of Israel a more immersive experience in the classroom.