Engaging students in the learning process is a challenge anywhere.

In Israel, for schools and communities on the periphery—with limited resources, crowded classrooms and large immigrant populations—the challenge is being met head on with Kadima Mada (Science Journey), a World ORT program.

Through generous gifts made to the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, our community is playing a part in bringing this compelling, innovative and advanced learning program to pupils in under-resourced areas.

Partnering with the Israeli Ministry of Education, World ORT first launched Kadima Mada in 2007. Since then, the multi-faceted, multi-million dollar project has redefined science and technology education in Israel, combining state-of-the-art, interactive classrooms, with progressive pedagogical techniques and ongoing teacher training.

Tidewater’s contributions come in the form of “smart boards,” also known as Interactive White Boards (IWBs).

The “smart boards” replace traditional chalk-and-talk teaching methods, allowing teachers to explain lessons with accompanying visuals from a web-connected computer and LCD projector. Students don’t just sit and listen, they get to interact with the lessons from their desks, “writing” on the board with a computerized marker connected to laptop or desktop computers.

Sara Trub, a member of the UJFT’s Israel and Overseas Committee, an active member of the local ORT chapter, a former Vice-President of ORT America, and an incoming World ORT committee member, says Israeli teachers who are fortunate enough to be a part of the Kadima Mada project are seeing much more involvement in their classes.

“The smart boards provide an engaging learning experience for their students,” Trub says. “They provide instant access to a visual medium.”

Students in two Israeli schools are now equipped with UJFT-supplied smart boards, thanks to your gifts to the UJFT.

In Karmiel—a city where 40 percent of the population consists of new immigrants from 75 countries—teachers are using the boards to make learning more accessible for the 713 pupils at Tichon Amit High School in grades 7-12.

In Hodayot , a religious boarding school and youth village, the majority of students are children of Ethiopian immigrants. Trub says the 210 students at the school fall far below the educational average of the country, but are now involved in school and learning with help from the UJFT and World ORT.

For more information about Kadima Mada, visit www.ortamerica.org. For more information about other ways your contributions help promote Jewish educational and family programs, locally and around the world, please visit http://jewishva.org/jewish-life-and-education.

Powered by Drupal, an open source content management system