Today I have a guest post from Laurie Rappeport. She asked if she could introduce my readers to a program called JConnectLearning which provides online enrichment and core curriculum for students who are learning Hebrew and about Judaism/Israel from home. Read on!
Every homeschooling family has its own agenda which guides its educational goals and activities. These goals may center on one specific aspect of the homeschool program or may include a more holistic approach. Jewish homeschooling families are faced with an additional dilemma — how to include Jewish content in the curriculum and engage children in a quality program of study that will encourage the students to explore their Jewish heritage as they connect to their Jewish community.
There are numerous resources on the Internet to assist homeschooling parents build a Jewish learning program, access suitable materials and present the subject matter to the children in an engaging and meaningful format.
Some of these resources come via Jerusalem EdTech Solutions (JETS) which offers a wealth of materials for students of all ages. The program assists parents in creating a dynamic and vibrant homeschooling environment which is rich in Jewish content. JETS courses span a wide range of topics including enrichment courses such as a series on Ancient Israel, Tikkun Olam, courses relating to the Jewish Ethiopian community in Israel, Jewish holidays, Contemporary Jewish Issues, Jewish philosophy and practices, Israel Archaeology, Jewish symbols, Israel and Jewish history, the Jewish perspective on environmental responsibility and Start-Up Nation/Israel. There are also core curriculum courses which include Themes of the Tanach and Gemarah.
Parents who are looking for a meaningful opportunity to teach Hebrew can take JETS Otiyiot Medabrot course which provides tools that educators can use to introduce Hebrew reading and writing according to proven methods of phonetic instruction. A second course option, Hip Hop Hebraics engages students in conversational Hebrew through meaningful activities which enable the students to learn Hebrew as it is used today in modern Israel.
Through JConnecT homeschooling pre-teens and teens from around the country meet virtually and enjoy effective learning opportunities while they participate in a dynamic Jewish learning program. Parents of Bat Mitzvah- and Bar Mitzvah-aged children, both those children who are completely homeschooled and those who are being prepared for their Bat/ Bar Mitzvah at home, can utilize JConnecT to provide the students with course material that strengthens Jewish identity, provides opportunities for kids to “meet” other Jewish homeschooling kids and enjoy a strong program of online Jewish learning. JConnect runs as a joint project with the Margolin Hebrew Academy of Memphis. JConnect students are invited to join the Margolin student body for two subsidized Shabbatons every year.
Laurie Rappeport made aliyah to Safed, Israel 30 years ago from Detroit. She works in the field of education, utilizing different forms of formal and informal educational models for young Jewish learners of all ages. Laurie is also involved in a wide range of projects which are aimed at bringing visitors to Safed to enjoy the religious, historical, cultural and artistic sites and experiences that the city has to offer.