Despite the coronavirus pandemic, 30 volunteer teachers from around the world, including the United States, arrived in Israel to enrich the learning experience of children living in underprivileged communities, and were joined by Israeli teachers from the center of the country.
The program is sponsored by the Steinhardt Foundation, the Schusterman Foundation and Seed the Dream.
The teachers arrived against the backdrop of a severe shortage of English teachers in Israel, and will teach English and core subjects in addition to working towards reducing the social gap between the underprivileged communities and the youth in Israel's center, as a part of the TALMA organization, otherwise known as Israel's National Program for Excellence in English.
"The decision of Diaspora and Israeli teachers to establish communities in the underprivileged communities is not obvious, certainly not during the coronavirus era," said Alon Futterman, head of the TALMA organization.
The new arrival of volunteers will be integrated into three communities: in the Negev, Eilat, and Ben Shemen, to help boarding school children who have been evicted from their homes and to teach them core subjects.
Out of quarantine and the whole family is here! Yallaaaaa...let the new full-year begin!Posted by TALMA: The Israel Program For Excellence In English on Monday, 24 August 2020
"In furthering the communities in the Negev, Eilat and the Ein Gedi boarding schools, it goes to show that there is always a way to bring young professionals to help support the underprivileged communities, and that even an international virus cannot stop educators seeking to allow students equal opportunity to pursue core subjects, regardless of their socioeconomic statues, place of residence of which they belong, or the place of study itself - whether online or in the classroom," Futterman said.
Each of the three communities will be provided with a selection of teachers coming from around the world and from Israeli teachers coming from the center of the country. The teachers who arrived from outside of Israel, in turn will be provided funding for housing, funding for academic studies, and no less importantly a colorful social life. Israeli teachers will be provided opportunities for academics and professional development.