Guiding Principles for Israel Education and Engagement

Our Cincinnati Jewish community has a deep and abiding commitment to Israel education and engagement. Based on this commitment, our community supports a variety of Israel experiences. In January 2018, a diverse group of rabbis and educators from across the community began a year-long study of contemporary approaches to Israel education and engagement, with the purpose of strengthening our community’s knowledge of and connection to Israel. Believing that an ongoing relationship with Israel enriches our Jewish lives and is fundamental to our Jewish identities, we have created the following principles to guide our community’s Israel education and engagement efforts. We are committed to these guiding principles as a valuable tool for individuals, organizations, congregations and community-wide endeavors; a tool that supports the myriad ways we choose to engage with Israel.

1. The Cincinnati Jewish community is committed to developing lifelong personal relationships with Am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael, Medinat Yisrael, and Torat Yisrael – the Jewish people, the land of Israel, the State of Israel, and the Torah of Israel.

2. Israel engagement is an ongoing, collaborative process for our community. Communal organizations support, connect with, and sustain each other in the shared effort to create more complete, meaningful relationships with Israel.

3. A healthy environment for Israel engagement contains space for diverse and divergent social, cultural, and political narratives, and is especially essential for productive engagement beyond our community.

4. Civil and charitable debate, in which all parties involved are open to new perspectives and further developing their own viewpoints, is essential to our Cincinnati Jewish community’s engagement with Israel.

5. Empowering and supporting professionals and leaders with knowledge, resources, and experiences, which also enhance their own relationships with Israel, will position them as effective guides for all.

6. Reflecting best practices in education, excellent Israel education fosters a personal relationship with Israel, and creates a holistic experience for the community. Excellence means stepping outside our pedagogical comfort zones, utilizing contemporary approaches, and focusing on intentionality.

Submitted by the Cohort for Strategic Israel Engagement Development
the Cohort for SIED is organized by the Cincinnati Jewish Teen Collective, with support from the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati and the Jim Joseph Foundation