Me, Ourselves and Israel: A Grade 9 Journey into Israel Studies

The Calgary Jewish Academy (CJA) launched an exciting new program at the beginning of the school year called Me, Ourselves, and Israel. Generously sponsored by the Mark Shilling and Sheryl Livergant Community Fund held at the Jewish Community Foundation of Calgary, every student in grade 9 has been gifted a copy of “Israel: A Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth” by Noa Tishby. The program aims to provide students with a unique opportunity to develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and reflection skills while building their Jewish identities.

Students have been exploring the book’s historical sources and how it relates to their Israel studies. Additionally, students are working on written projects and presentations, enabling them to develop effective written and analytical skills related to past and current issues surrounding Israel. Students have also been forming a more nuanced understanding of Israel, its people, and its place in the world. The goal is for students to be well versed, knowledgeable and comfortable talking about Israel and various issues as they navigate through their future academic and professional careers.

The program also aims to help students build a meaningful personal relationship with Israel. This relationship is being built on a deep understanding of the country’s history, people, and culture. It will empower students to see beyond the headlines and form their own opinions based on a nuanced understanding of current events, the complexities of life in Israel and Jewish life in the diaspora.

Me, Ourselves, and Israel is a valuable addition to the Calgary Jewish Academy that provides students with an opportunity to develop a range of critical skills while building their Jewish identities. The program’s focus on history, analysis, and personal relationships with Israel ensures that students leave with a well-rounded understanding of this complex and fascinating country. A big thank you goes out to the program’s generous sponsor, the Mark Shilling and Sheryl Livergant Community Fund, for their commitment to promoting education and fostering the development of the next generation of leaders.