In spring 2015 we organised the 3rd year of our Mechanchim seminar for Czech Jewish educators. The seminar took place on 23rd – 24th March 2014 This year´s seminar was made possible thanks to the kind and generous support of JDC, Dutch Jewish Humanitarian Fund, Pincus Fund, Foundation of Jewish Community of Prague and Jewish Community of Prague itself.
The seminar was attended by 32 Czech and Slovak educators from Jewish kindergartens, Lauder elementary school and high-school, Sunday school teachers, afternoon classes teachers, madrichim, Moishe house resident, coordinators of various educational programmes, volunteer/paid community educators and Hebrew teachers, 2 rabbis and a rebetzin.
The lectures, workshops and debates were devided into two days – the first day was devoted to teachers of Jewish schools, the second day to community workers. The first day organized for teachers of Jewish schools featured a lecture of Judith Zinner, the direcrtess of Lauder Beth Zion Schule in Berlin. In her lecture Judith introduced a rich variety of activities that can be used with children during Pesach. Most importantly, she lead teachers to plan their work with children carefully in acord with their teaching goals. Goals were also the main topic of rabi Spinners lecture and workshop that followed. In his very provocative lecture, rabi Spinner had the attendees go through a very uncomfortable process of reexamining the goals of their educational institutions through the eyes of various people and institutions involved in the educational process.
On the second day, community workers took part at a lecture and a workshop of Zsuzsa Fritzm the coordinator of the Budapest Baalint JCC. In this program, the attendees experienced a new process of community project planning. In the afternoon, they examined the current educational issues in Czech Jewish communities with Marta Mala, Tereza Vanova and Eva Wichsova from FHV and Federation of Czech Jewish communities.
This year´s seminar was undoubtedly the most successful one out of the three last years. The attendees appreciated the very high level of presentations as well as the possibility to meet with their colleagues, exchange experience and hear updates from the respective organizations. They welcome the possibility to hear feedback on their work and at the same time search for partners in their educational projects. Above all, they value the time of sharing and peer-help. We are very proud to see Mechanchim becoming a stable platform for the meeting of Czech educators. We are glad we managed to help Czech teachers to find ties among their respective educational organizations and also that we helped the actual forming of the notion of a shared space of Czech Jewish educators.
Mechanchim remains to be the only seminar aimed specifically at both formal and informal Jewish educators and Jewish education as such in the country. Its role in bringing the latest trends in Jewish education to Czech educators in Czech language is crucial.
Pictures of the event can be viewed in our photogalery: http://www.fondholocaust.cz/cs/fotogalerie