Education Department

MWU's Department of Education was established in 2003 and has set the global mission of strengthening the Movement's Jewish-Zionist Ideology and re-energizing the Jewish-Zionist educational dialog in Maccabi or Maccabi-affiliated structures.

 

The Department has the overall responsibility for MWU’s educational activity in Israel – including activities generated by the Department itself, as well as that of the MWU territorial Desks and significant educational initiatives in the Diaspora. The Dept. gives direction, attentively monitors and supervises the Movement's educational activity.

 

Our Movement's extensive spread over about 400 institutions in 60 countries, the reality of huge country-to-country variations and communication gaps all too often isolate Maccabi Institutions from one another. Additional negative effects emerge from the surge of Post-Modernism, postponing and often altogether removing ideological dialog and discourse in the communities. It is the Department's express aim to invigorate ideological dialog and discourse based on MWU's twin ideals of Jewish-Zionist Continuity and the Centrality of the State of Israel in Jewish life in Maccabi institutions worldwide. The Department's method is to create learning communities, meaning groups of Maccabi members engaged and connected to one another in continuous study and learning of the central issues and aspects of the modern Jewish experience.


Of these, the most successful example is the continentwide establishment in 2005 of Maccabi Tzair CLAM youth movement, which staged three continental seminars (in Uruguay, Argentina & Chile), attracting to each around 300 of the best madrichim from CLAM constituent T.O.'s.

Educational Programs

The top priority of the Education Department: Seminars which are designed to "Teach the Teachers", i.e. train our young educators, and they embody the department's prime purpose of building a Maccabi educational training system in both Israel and Diaspora communities.  We have conducted such seminars in more than 20 countries, always taking into account local requirements.  The total number of graduates runs into several thousands, playing a very substantial role in shaping the Movement and forming the base of leadership generations.  

 

MWU conducts many Israel Programs for all age groups - youth, students, families, adults & golden-agers - short and long term programs, in durations of 14 days to one year, that produce our strongest results in terms of Jewish Identity, Centrality of Israel, connection to the Movement, etc.  

 

Planning, marketing and implementing Israel programs with MWU's territorial desks in cooperation with Confederations and T.O.'s is a major Education Department activity. Some MWU Israel programs repeat - especially our flagship "Tamar Program" - brand tour, study and volunteer programs.  Others are planned directly according to the requirements of a particular T.O. or Confederation, or to meet the needs identified by the Department itself.  

 

Virtually all Maccabi youth work aims toward Israel Program participation; hence the Department is responsible for educational content of all curricula in Movement structures in Israel and the Diaspora.  Advanced training adapted to various regional and communal needs are also conducted worldwide.


The Education Department is also involved in developing programs to combat anti-Semitism, Holocaust education and much else tailored to specific requests from various Jewish communities. The Movement's educational vision is to maintain a network enabling all Maccabi members to share and enjoy the great depth of creativity, accumulated knowledge, and rich pedagogic experience of all Maccabi institutions around the world.

 

Education Network

In education and culture, Maccabi's circa 400 institutions worldwide offer a vast variety of activities: rikudei am, theatre, workshops on Jewish sources, contemporary texts, and a variety of activities for families and youngsters. In addition there are also Maccabi Tzair and Maccabi Youth Organization activities. Many Maccabi centers are, in a sense, “comprehensive community factories” fulfilling most of the needs of the local Jewish communities.


All these activities are coordinated by MWU's Department of Education and the Regional Departments from the World Headquarters at Kfar Maccabiah. On an international level, these Departments supply ideological tools. They also run advanced seminars, workshops and in-service training for counselors, coordinators, professional and lay leaders, and Directors-General.

 

Leadership training is the rich kaleidoscope and frequency of activity in our Movement - categorized broadly as sports/educational/social/community and varies enormously from place to place in the Diaspora. Some TO's enjoy very strong volunteer leadership backed by professional staff who deal with day-to-day operations; other TO's are totally volunteer-run.  Similarly, some TO's have institutions that offer daily, weekly and monthly programs, while others - MUSA is the prime example - concentrate on project-led activities around events ranging in scale from small to extremely large.

 

Thus, the Education Department has a main objective of strengthening volunteer and professional leadership in accordance with the particular need perceived from place to place.  Where leadership is unequipped for its tasks or weak, it is the Department's task to step in, always aiming to develop self-sustaining and self-generating local leadership cadres, at which the process is always in full coordination and cooperation with the relevant Confederation.