Success: It Takes a Guide


Success = follow-throughSuccess = students bringing Israel to their peers Success = student involvement and leadership Success = student initiative Success = new (or modified) programming

I just returned from my final high school trip of the year. Students are inspiring. Schools are working hard to infuse Israel into daily life. But the efforts don’t always produce the desired results.

My journeys have allowed me to witness Israel education – both within and outside of the classroom – in many different school settings. Every school with which I have interacted wants its students to take ownership of their connection to Israel, and many struggle with the best approach for helping students to do this. A head of school recently told me that students don’t really take initiative with causes in general, and Israel is a cause that is no different from the rest.

Adolescents feel passionate about many causes, so how do we help them take initiative? From the schools I have visited, all have students who have a passion for Israel and who want their peers to have this passion as well. However, many of these students don’t take the initiative, or don’t know how to take the initiative. The most successful of these schools help to guide these students, teaching them the skills necessary to accomplish their goals. The dedication of the faculty to serving as advisor impacts significantly the school’s success in this area.

Merriam-Webster defines success as a “favorable or desired outcome.” The desired outcome with Israel education and building student connection to Israel is complex and differs from school to school. Usually, success is some combination of the suggestions listed above, and happens when a school dedicates a faculty or staff member to serve as advisor to guide the student leaders.

In your school, what is the desired outcome? And how do you achieve it?