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Shana Tova - Happy New Year!

We at Kedma wish all of us a happy and blessed new year.

This is an opportunity to update you in regard to what is happening at our schools, and tell you about the conference we conducted this summer - "Being a teacher with an agenda".

Wishing You Shana Tova!
Ilana Yona, Director, and all of us in Kedma

Kedma Conference - "Being a Teacher with an Agenda"

The conference took place in July, at Kedma School in Jerusalem, and dealt with personal and educational agendas of teachers and school principles. Dozens of teachers from all over the country inquired, shared, consulted and argued about educational agendas that orient their work at school and classroom. The conference was a sequence of fascinating lectures and workshops in which diverse issues regarding teaching, learning, education, society, social justice and equality were discussed.

Kedma Conference - "Being a Teacher with an Agenda" was a celebration of knowledge, mind opening, inspirational in the sense of the diversity of people and themes and an important step toward establishing an educational community that strives for an educational system that is based on social justice and equality.

Conference contents (English)  

Conference video (pictures, music and subtitles in Hebrew)

In the school's principles workshop we explored the school's agenda and the way in which the school's management is leading it in its daily conduct.

Dorit Laor, School principle of HaMagen School in Hod Hasharon:"The conference stimulated thinking. When I get out of a lecture or workshop with a handful of questions, concerns, ideas and doubts, I know it's been successful".  

Towards the conference, we produced the "conference's notebook" in which there was room to write insights, comments and clarifications in regard to each lecture and workshop. We enriched it with fascinating lesson plans, and 10 principals showing how to advance equality and social justice in the classroom. Link here (Hebrew).

Gilad Shmilovitch, Teacher at Branco Weiss High School, Or Yeduda

"Teachers with an agenda conference at Kedma, the Katamomin, in underprivileged Jerusalem. I met so many teachers here that shine from abundance. Strong women, leading women that are in touch with themselves and with the innovative work practices they hold, in touch with their identities, their language, gender and the communities in which they accomplish themselves. They are not only inspirational, but are a fountain full of passion for action. Suddenly, in the Katamoimin, I found a flowing pedagogical fountain in the midst of a stone desert. Thank you, Gilad”.

Dr. Rimona Paul, Teacher and Coordinator at "Music Academy" High School, Jerusalem

"This is another opportunity to say thank you for the wonderful conference. In my mind, I am still there, telling anecdotes to the family, presenting ideas to colleagues, and with myself, feeling that many new ideas for change are sprouting! The conference was very efficient for my role as a teacher! The conference allowed me to meet with thinking teachers, but beyond that, it has loaded me with concepts and examples that will continue to challenge my thoughts in the coming school year. There is plenty food for thought in the theories presented and the experience other have shared from themselves and their work as teachers".

"A bridge to the university" is back in Jerusalem and Natanya! The project includes a comprehensive, subsidized psychometric course for young people who are residents of underprivileged neighborhoods in Jerusalem and Natanya. The course includes personal tutoring and support to encouraged enrollment to higher education. As one course student shared with us: "The course is a push. Without the course, we might have been in another place… it seemed unattainable... here we can get most of the support we need and it makes us want to succeed".

Our education system has gained 3 female educators with an agenda, graduates of Kedma School: Hila Cohen, Bat Zion Yosef and Nofar Levy. This June they have received their B.Ed.! All three of them received financial assistance from the association's scholarship fund that is running for its ninth year and support Kedma graduates that are higher education students.

In addition to the scholarship fund, Kedma graduates take part in different school activities and special workshops designated for them. The goal is to strengthen their social network and their relationship with the school and to encourage the while they build their professional and educational path. We wish them a year of many successes!

News from Kedma School

The Israeli scouts (Zofim) are building a home at Kemda School. The "Zofim" youth movement has founded its first branch in the Katamonim neighborhood at Kedma school compound. Many joined activities are planned this year, and no doubt, it will be a meaningful experience to the students, zofim members and the neighborhood as a whole.

Eastern Jewry evening event with the poet Alon Bar and film director David Dery took place in Kedma's library during this summer break. The evening was attended by teachers, students and parents. The fascinating event was initiated by Tami Philip, school's librarian. During the evening the artists talked about Eastern Jewry and Homosexual identities and their work that is affected by these identities. More details in the school's Facebook (Hebrew)

Mothers from the Kedmiya joined mothers from Ofakim to an unforgettable visit to the Knesset. Claudia Baron shares: "We met KM Yossi Yona and a representative of the workers organization (Histadrot). We brought up hardships and bureaucracy that single mothers encounter, especially in regard to social security matters and the lack of support single mothers face when their allowance is denied from them as they start to work.  We voiced ourselves"…

The meeting in the Knesset was organized by Nurit Hagag that guides a group of mothers in the Kedmiya. "The goal of the meetings is to allow mother a place for familiarity, networking, learning, sharing and experiencing in matters that touch their own worlds. It strengthens the connection between Kedma and the community. In addition, by giving tools and knowledge the mothers, they can act in the community for the benefit of their own joined goals".

The "Kedmiya" is present at Kedma's school ground for the last 10 years. The project benefits the neighborhood's children and their mothers and is part of the social and communal fabric of the neighborhood. The Kedmiya is maintained with love and care by Ilanit Danino, a teacher at Kedma, together with Kedma students and graduates. Together they initiate and produce twice a week throughout the year sport, creative arts, cooking and gymboree activities and many more holiday events.

Even during the summer break, volunteers of "Sahi" Katamonim (abbreviation for designated kindness patrol) distributed food packages for needy families in the neighborhood. Who are the volunteers? Students and graduated of Kedma. Sahi's warehouse and its bases of operating is in the school's compound for over 8 years. All the hard work of finding families, collecting food and distributing it, is done with love, modesty and the joy of kindness.

Learning Parents. Last year a group of Kedma's parents met for joined learning. The group was guided by Moshe Shriki, past director of "MeMizarch Shemesh" organization. The group is going to grow bigger this year and to be extensively active in matters of the school and the community.

Kedma students flew to France on June to watch Euro league championship soccer games. They were accompanied by Itay Bachar, Kedma's sports teachers.

We thank "Hagshamt Halom" association who helped to fulfill their dream.

   The first day of school at Kedma

A vibrant community fair with children's activities, yard sale and food stands was operated by Kedma students as part of an end of the year campaign. "Hashamyim hem hagvol" (the sky is the limit) association has guided Kedma students throughout the school year.

News from Neve Hof School

Successes fair – a celebration of pedagogical abundance closing the school year!

Ethical fashion, people who have changed the world, school's newspaper, community garden products and more. The successes fair is an opportunity to show and to share with all of the school's community the various projects that are on the one side, connected to the curriculum and on the other, build a worldview and construct knowledge from a place of research, curiously, initiative and creativity. The fair included joined activities of parents and students and a diversity of displays that were the student's learning products of a year's school working processes.

"A space together" – an opportunity to learn differently!

The space designated for learning in the school's premises expands the learning resources and the diverse learning strategies and gives a profound response to differential teaching. The perception that guides the creation of the space is that students in the classroom/school differ in their learning styles, areas of interests and needs. The students make use of different spaces in school (yard, library, hallways, walls, designated rooms and classrooms) to learn and teach in different places and ways.

Teachers and parents will receive guidance and professional support and students will receive a response to their emotional and educational needs, which will help them to face different challenges at school and to create positive experiences of success. This new center is managed by Neta Zalmanson, and we wish her the best of success in this inspiring and unique challenge!

Creative writing workshop guided by Rafael Balulu, director and writer, was held for the first time for 6th grade students that wanted to experience different writing styles and to receive feedback on their work. In each meeting a memory or a significant experience was brought up, and the students wrote and shared their writings with their group mates.

At the end of the year, a notebook with the student's writing was published and distributed to the entire school.

Gender discourse and practices that emphasize equality between the genders are found throughout the school: in the lessons, the curriculum, the dialogue between teacher and students, in classroom and school projects and among the students themselves.

For example, in a math lesson, the students conducted surveys in regard to the participation of boys and girls in different recreational activities at school and after school; in the lesson "men and women that changed the world" students researched leaders and examined the concept of leadership in gender context. At the end of the year, they published a fascinating notebook that collected their research.

The discourse in the classes is addresses both boys and girls and the teachers are constantly aware of fair representation and participation of both boys and girls in the classroom and lessons.

The discourse at school has results in the real world: the girls at school, with teacher Amit Botbul, founded a soccer team for girls. In the 6th grade, the students wrote Gila Gamliel, Minster of social equality a letter in which they ask her to consider a change in signposts and road signs so they will address both genders.  

3rd, 4th and 6th grade students at "Neve Hof" school have proven that students can also write and edit the school's teaching materials! After wondering whether to give homework to students in the summer vacation, some of the school's teachers – Slivi, Eran, Hadas and Tehila, have decided that the students will make by themselves the summer's break math learning materials. In each classroom, a couple of students chose a subject from a list of subjects that were taught in math and geometry during the school year, and wrote a page of exercises. The pages were joined and formed together an impressive notebook that surely has been much more fun to solve! Here's what came out… (in Hebrew)

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