05/10/2017

Books for Beit Shean

Tags: Federation, Israel, Overseas, Young Adult

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Katie Spector of Mentor is a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow (MITF), a 10-month post-college volunteer program, part of I-Connect, an initiative of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. She is helping Israel elementary school age children learn to speak and read English in Cleveland’s sister city of Beit Shean. She also gets to live it like a local in Beit Shean, and immerse herself in its warm and welcoming community.

Masa Israel Teaching Fellows- MITF is a 10-month fellowship program that was created to address the achievement gap in Israel’s public education system. The program invites talented, English-speaking college graduates to Israel as English teachers’ aides. It’s a challenging, rewarding experience for the teaching fellows, and a vital investment in Israel’s future.

During her first few months, Katie noticed the books the schools were using were either falling apart or not at the appropriate reading level for the students. “When they came in to learn, we wanted them to be excited and work on their English. It makes things slightly difficult when we don’t have the right materials.”

Katie thought about how to make a lasting impact during her time in Beit Shean, and how Jewish Cleveland could share in a piece of that. She started a program called Books for Beit Shean asking for books from Cleveland to Beit Shean. “I know I can count on Jewish Cleveland to help. I know how much Cleveland has a love for Beit Shean and how much Beit Shean has a love for Cleveland. And I know my students and the teachers here would appreciate the books even more knowing they’re from Cleveland.”

Katie is looking for new and slightly-used books for children and adults of Beit Shean. “I want students to come and read books on their own or take books home and enjoy reading. My hope is to broaden their horizons and to help them grow and develop as people. It’s so amazing to see the smile on my students faces when they finish a book.”

For information on Masa Israel Teaching Fellows contact Mirit Balkan at mbalkan@jcfcleve.org or 216-593-2921.

Stories like these are made possible by your generosity to the Campaign for Jewish Needs. Join us as we aspire to leave no community member behind in Cleveland, Israel, and 70 Countries around the globe. Donate today.


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