Itim LaTorah, Tucuman

This project is implementing a training program for Jewish Studies teachers in Tucuman, Argentina based on the teacher training curriculum of the Marshall Meyer Rabbinical Seminary’s Abarbanel Institute. The program utilizes a variety of teaching formats, including distance learning methods and technologies.

The curriculum is comprised of the following general topics: Tanach; Machshevet Israel; Masoret; Talmud and Halachah; Jewish History; Lashon and Literature; Education and Psychology. Study of the State of Israel is part of the educational program. Each student also selects 12 courses, based on his personal interests.

Courses are implemented in several different formats: (1) 12 weekly 4-hour meetings each semester in Tucuman [96 hours per year]. Half of these sessions are conducted by teachers from the Rabbinical Seminary who travel to Tucuman, and half are conducted via video-conferences from the Seminary. (2) Two annual intensive 5-day seminars in Tucuman, taught by instructors from Buenos Aires [90 hours per year]; (3) Intensive one-day seminars in Tucuman, four Sundays each semester [9 hours per day] taught by local or guest teachers [72 hours per year]; (4) Individual tutorial sessions conducted via Skype [8 hours per year for each teacher]. The program provides each teacher with 266 hours of instruction per year, 20 hours of supervised class lessons, and 112 hours of individual study.

Participants are awarded two credits for each completed course. Those who complete 100 credits will receive a diploma from the Rabbinical Seminary. This diploma is recognized by the Vaad Hachinuch in Buenos Aires, and also by the University of Haifa, where students will be able to continue toward a B.A. degree.

The project also includes an Open Bet Midrash for one group of parents of children in the day school, and one group of university and post-university age young adults. This aspect of the project offers a modular program of adult Jewish Studies providing basic knowledge of Jewish sources and Jewish Tradition. Each group meets weekly for four semesters. The academic program is comprised of four units, each including 12 classes: (1) The Jewish Lifecycle; G-d and Us (with texts from Torah, Prophets, and Rabbinic teachings); (2) Justice and Tikkun Olam; (3) The Jewish Calendar and Festivals; (4) Selected Passages from the Talmud and Midrashim. Study of the State of Israel is part of the educational program. Lecturers from the Rabbinical Seminary in Buenos Aires who travel to Tucuman teach both in the teacher training program and in the Open Bet Midrash.
A space for the Bet Midrash is set up in the congregation, with equipment to facilitate video-conferences with instructors from the Rabbinical Seminary in Buenos Aires.

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