Tikkun Olam: The American Israeli Summer School Set to Open in the Heart of Angola

  Jewish teachers from Israel and  the U.S will travel to Angola to teach English as part of a collaboration between TALMA, The Israel Program for Excellence in English and the Menomadin Foundation.

 The American Israeli Summer School in the Heart of Angola (photo credit: Menomadin Foundation)
The American Israeli Summer School in the Heart of Angola
(photo credit: Menomadin Foundation)

Following the success of TALMA’s various English programs in Israel, the Menomadin Foundation is launching its first English summer school in Angola with TALMA’s alumni- teachers from Israel and Jewish communities around the world, committed to promoting education equality. The TALMA teachers  will set out as part of a special pilot program in Angola, where they will lead English lessons as part of a holistic academic program for dozens of schoolchildren and adults.

The program will take place in Fundação, the community center established by the Menomadin Foundation in the heart of Ilha de Luanda. The community center is modeled on the Israeli “Matnas” cultural community centers, and works to promote Angolan art and culture through informal educational activities for children, teenagers, young adults and women. More than 350 children and teenagers from the local community are registered for activities in the center, and dozens more participate in its cultural activities. The Ilha de Luanda neighborhood faces a range of developmental challenges, and with the exception of a few initiatives run by the church and local soccer team, residents have no opportunities for enrichment through culture and leisure activities to help them improve their living conditions and build community resilience.

The teachers will teach English on a volunteer basis alongside the local team as part of an exciting and intensive three-week program (75 hours) in July. The days will be divided into two parts – one classroom-based (learning through textbooks and lesson plans) and one practical, based on a range of creative, hands-on experiences, all delivered entirely in English. These include cooking, science experiments, music and more, all taught using the PBL (Project-Based Learning) approach. The young and highly motivated teachers will move into apartments in Ilha itself, which will enable them to become part of the community and its daily life, to build meaningful social bonds with the residents of the neighborhood and to gain a first-hand understanding of their lives.

“English is a very important tool for building social mobility and to enable local innovation to reach out beyond its borders. We work throughout the year together with the local community to provide basic education and knowledge that will allow them to develop competencies and build a more fulfilling future for themselves and improve their wellbeing,” said Naama Margalit, CEO of the Fundação Arte e Cultura in Angola. The Fundação Arte e Cultura is the social responsibility and citizenship arm of the Mitrelli Group and the Menomadin Foundation subsidiary.

Alon Futterman , CEO of TALMA: “To date, more than 1,500 teachers from Jewish communities around the world have participated in TALMA’s English teaching programs in Israel. We are pleased to offer them the opportunity to return to teach in Israel and abroad in order to promote the Jewish value of "Tikkun Olam" in places where there is no food or educational security. In doing so, we are sending a united message that the State of Israel and the people of Israel are always proud to work for the common good. in addition, we are always proud to create opportunities for young professionals from Israel and from the Diaspora to find common ground and work together in achieving goals”.

“This collaboration is particularly exciting because it crosses borders and brings together young Jews from the United States, Israel and Africa to generate a shared impact. The teachers will participate in the cultural events of the capital city of Luanda and will meet with the local rabbi and the Israeli ambassador, building on the connection between their Jewish identity and their work to support the greater good,” added Dr. Merav Galili, CEO of the Menomadin Foundation.