Global Learning @FrischSchool

The following posting is cross-posted from The Frisch School Blog.

This week our global world has been transformed into a little village with a one room schoolhouse through the hard work of our teachers both from Frisch and our twinning school and the help of technology. Below is a description of three programs that occurred on Monday and Tuesday.

9th Grade Identity Wiki with students from the Alon School in Nahariya, Israel

On Monday morning in Nahariya Israel, Rabbi Pittinsky, our Director of Educational Technology, taught a lesson to 9th grade students at the Alon School on the theme of Personal Identity. The lesson was based on the poem לכל איש יש שם by זֶלדָה which students our 9th grade Hebrew classes and the students in Nahariya are both learning. Students in Morah Dafna Zilberschmid's classes have been discussing the question how our name and the influences in our life form our identity and this question was continued by the Alon students on the Frisch wiki. More than 40 students in Israel introduced themselves in the wiki discussion, describing their name, family, hobbies, and answering the question whether they would be willing to "change" their name in order to fit into a new group of friends, and important one for adolescents entering high school. This discussion will be continued on the Frisch Wiki by Morah Dafna's classes and hopefully will lead to continued dialogue and joint learning in the future. We thank the Partnership 2Gether project of the Jewish Agency and the Jewish Federation of Northern NJ for subsidizing Rabbi Pittinsky's trip to our twinning schools in Nahariya.

Skyping between our 10th Grade Frisch Students and Ethiopian Students from the Yavneh School in Israel

Later on Monday, a group of sophomores, under the direction of Morah Dafna, Skyped with Ethiopian Jews in Israel. Sophomores Marni Loffman, Isabelle Berman, Talia Schabes, Kayla Schiffer and Ariela Rivkin have each been matched with an Ethiopian student with whom they will correspond. The program emerged from the Frisch Africa Encounter, during which time the students learned about the obstacles the Ethiopian community faced when coming to Israel and is still grappling with. The students expressed interest in developing relationships with Ethiopian students in Israel. Mrs. Tikvah Wiener, our English Department Chair and Coordinator of Interdisciplinary Studies, contacted her sister Mrs. Smadar Goldstein, who ran the webinar on Ethiopian Jewry during the month the sophomores learned about Africa, and Mrs. Goldstein made the "shidduch" between Frisch and the Ethiopian students. The students will now begin discussions on their own with their "pen pals" and hopefully form relationships with their new acquaintances. Both the Frisch students and the Ethiopians will also get to improve their language skills, the Ethiopians by conversing in English and the Frisch students by speaking in Hebrew. Thank you to Morah Dafna Zilberschmid our Hebrew Department Chair and Morah Sarah Barak our partner from the Yavneh School in Israel for making this wonderful program work! Thank you to Rabbi Tzvi Pittinsky and Mr. Chris Perez for making sure the technological parts of the program ran smoothly!

Video Conference between our 11th Grade Students and Students in the Ulpanat Harel School about last week's Holocaust Integration Program

On Tuesday, students from our 11th Grade shared a class discussion by video conference with their counterparts in the Ulpanat Harel School in Nahariya about the topic of the Holocaust. This program was an opportunity follow-up reflections about the topics studied in last week's Integrated Day of Learning on the Holocaust which took place both at The Frisch School and at Ulpanat Harel.

Students discussed the following questions in both Hebrew and English:
1. How could people remain human under inhuman conditions?

2. What can we do today as Jews in America and in Israel in light of the way America and Palestine responded to the holocaust?

3. What are proper ways of commemorating the Holocaust?

Talking to each other via Skype, students were able to form one global classroom as they shared their thoughts. Time went by so quickly that there was a demand for follow-up so both our students in Frisch and the Ulpana will be continuing the conversation through asynchronous discussion on the Frisch Wiki. We would like to thank Mrs. Dafna Zilberschmid and Mrs. Tikvah Wiener were facilitating this discussion from Frisch and Mrs. Mercedes Hadad and Rabbi Yehuda Rosenberg for facilitating the program at Ulpanat Harel. As well, thanks are owed to Mr. Chris Perez our Network Administrator for his technical support at Frisch and Rabbi Tzvi Pittinsky for his technical support at the Ulpana in Nahariya. This program also would not have been possible without our Partnership 2Gether Program sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Northern NJ.

We are looking forward to continuing our many twinning programs as we transform our global community into a global village with a single classroom through the help of technology.