Educating for Israel’s Future: Beit Berl College

The future of Israeli society lies in the hands of today’s educators. By training teachers from all walks of life, offering innovative STEM education and shared society programs, Beit Berl is changing the face of Israeli education, today

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The M.Teach programs in the sciences and mathematics target talented Jewish and Arab university graduatesCredit: Eldad Rafaeli

“When I was drafted into the IDF’s central computing system unit, MAMRAM, I launched a two-decade career in programming. My army service enabled me to work at the forefront of technological innovation and develop on personal and professional levels. When I was released from active duty at the age of 44, I decided to forge a second career in education. Beit Berl’s Above and Beyond program helped me transition to teaching cyber and technology. Today, I enjoy a fulfilling second career as a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) teacher at Ramat Gan’s Blich School, actively shaping the youth of today into tomorrow’s technological innovators.”

Eldad Kapitolnik, former IDF programmer and current STEM teacher, is just one of Beit Berl's thousands of graduates educating Israel’s next generation. Today, one of every five Israeli secular educators – Jewish and Arab -- is a graduate of Beit Berl College.

Eldad Kapitolnik, former IDF programmer and current STEM teacherCredit: Amos Shaul, Blich High School

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To address challenges related to an alarming shortage of skilled math, technology and science teachers, and a stagnation in the number of Israeli pupils studying high-level sciences and mathematics, particularly in Israel's socio-economic and geographic periphery, Beit Berl College has embarked on an ambitious effort to recruit and train educators in these critical fields. This year, following massive layoffs by TEVA Pharmaceuticals, Beit Berl launched a special program to retrain a group of former TEVA scientists as chemistry teachers,. In September, these career chemists will teach advanced high school chemistry around the country.

Beit Berl's new M.Teach programs in the sciences and mathematics target talented Jewish and Arab university graduates in the relevant disciplines and offer them a rigorous program of studies and demanding practicum, culminating in a Masters of Education and a teaching certificate. These new programs are pioneering Israeli teacher education, drawing the best and the brightest across socio-economic divides, and ensuring the preparation of the next generation of young women and men who will continue to lead Israel as Start-Up Nation.

A hub for innovation and creativity        

Beit Berl prepares educators, artists, filmmakers and public leaders with the 21st century skills required for success in the classroom. In arts, education and social sciences, Beit

Berl College imports the energy of a start-up nation into its Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees as well as teaching certification in multiple fields and specializations. HaMidrasha Faculty of Arts, encourages exploration, creativity and inquiry through hands-on experience – in painting, sculpture, photography and film, digital media, installation art, curatorship, visual culture, theory and criticism, and more.

The college also provides in-service professional training to thousands of educators across the country each year. In addition, Beit Berl participates in multiple international collaborations to advance educational innovations – engaging in ongoing research and practical teaching that introduces new and revolutionary methods and curricula to the school system.

Changing the face of Israeli education

Combining academic excellence with a powerful social mission, Beit Berl’s vision rests on a commitment to education as a means for social advancement and equal opportunity for all Israelis. The college is a microcosm of Israeli society, bringing together secular, national-religious and ultra-orthodox Jews, and Arab Israeli populations, and supporting all students in realizing their full potential, while empowering them to become champions of democracy and agents for change in Israeli society.

Beit Berl College closes socio-economic gaps through educationCredit: Eyal Varshavski

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Beit Berl College established The Center for the Advancement of Shared Society to change the way Israeli teachers understand society and its dynamics and teach our children. The Center works to create understanding and common ground among the diverse – and at times disparate -- populations who come together on Beit Berl's campus. At Beit Berl, diversity is harnessed as a resource and exemplar of Israel as a shared society, to change the lives and perspectives of the college’s students, so they, in turn, can effect true change in thousands of classrooms throughout the country. 

Beit Berl served as the perfect springboard for Adan Gnaiem, a young Arab Israeli woman from Baqa el Gharbiyeh, to launch a successful career in education.

“At Beit Berl, I mastered important skills I needed as a teacher; and acquired the tools and strategies to handle challenges.  Last year I travelled 2 hours each way to teach English in a Bedouin school in Hura.  With few computers available, and little technology, I had to improvise, and provide individual attention to middle-school pupils who still struggled with the alphabet in English, their third language.  By the end of the year, my pupils felt a sense of achievement; and I realized that I was able to make a difference in their lives."

Beit Berl’s cross-cutting centers of excellence include a Center for Haredi Educators, which trains ultra-orthodox teachers of secular subjects, opening the doors to the working world for young ultra-orthodox adults.

The college's Film Department also offers an intensive two-week summer film workshop for Jewish and Arab youths, aptly named Bittersweet. Students bridge cultural divides, by creating films together that explore issues of identity, place, self and other.

Investing in Israel’s future

Viewing education as a vehicle for social justice, the Beit Berl College is working to close existing socio-economic gaps in education, and to create a pluralistic, democratic society rich in equal opportunities.

Join the Beit Berl community, sign up to receive the college’s newsletter and take part in a study tour about educating for Israel's future. Invest in Beit Berl College, and help change the face of Israeli education.