IEI head  
October 2014


Acharey Ha'Chagim - after the holidays - is a common expression used in Israel and in some Jewish communities - that refers to the period following the busy month of Tishrei, which contains several holidays one after the other.


An important meeting? Acharey Ha'Chagim! A new initiative? Acharey Ha'Chagim! Let's have coffee and chat? Acharey Ha'Chagim! It's the only time during the year when you can postpone important decisions, meetings and ideas for an entire month, and no one raises an eyebrow in surprise or disapproval. Occasionally Acharey Ha'Chagim provides us with a good excuse for procrastination and for postponing things we don't feel like doing. The positive side of Acharey Ha'Chagim connotes a time for renewal and fresh energy. 

Well, it's Acharey Ha'Chagim right now, so let's spring into action!

In this issue we tell you about: two songs for this time of year, we showcase a cover story in the JWeekly featuring our Israel Education Initiative, we offer new resources to teach the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, invite you to Piyut with Yair Harel - a workshop for educators with a visiting artist, share opportunities to learn with local and visiting talented educators, showcase the upcoming iEngage Conference, and encourage you to attend local events.


We hope you use these resources and encourage you to forward them to colleagues and friends.


Best wishes,

Ilan and Vavi

Israel Education Initiative

Jewish LearningWorks


Acharey Ha'Chagim - After the Holidays
Two Songs for this Time of Year

Hitchadshut - Renewal, by Naomi Shemer 


Naomi Shemer invites us to examine the roads we have taken, and test them anew. Now is the time to make dreams come true, and on the other hand - to welcome the return to the routine of daily life. The word "Renewal" embodies different meanings and significance of re-growth and regeneration that include our surrounding as well as ourselves. 



"After the holidays, everything will be renewed

Ordinary days will return, renewed

The air, the earth, the rain the fire -

Also you, you too, will be renewed."


Performed originally by Ofra Haza
Performed originally by Ofra Haza


A more recent version by Alona ALexander
A more recent version by Alona Alexander



Lyrics in transliteration and English

Lyrics in Hebrew



Targil Be'Hit'orerut - An Exercise in Awakening, by Shlomi Shaban


Chosen as the best song of 5774 (the Jewish year), Shlomi Shaban's "An Exercise in Awakening," provides us with another, quite different, aspect of renewal and awakening.   


"Where have you gone, my love?

I'm right here beside you

Where is my mom, my mother dear?

You've been on your own a long time

What's with the sun that was so good and so gentle?

It has set as it rose.

If so tell me, tell me if so

All's been told and preserves, filed and reported."


Shlomi Shaban and Chava Alberstein
Shlomi Shaban with Chava Alberstein


The duet, written and composed by Shaban, was first released with Chava Alberstein providing the female voice - an apt choice, since she is the first lady of the canonic Hebrew song genre. It was written prior to the events of this past summer, but continues to be an expression of the lingering mood and anxiety in Israeli society. Some critics compare this song to Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall," written just before the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, and remained synonymous with this ominous event.


Lyrics in Hebrew


Israel Education Initiative in the News
Teaching Israel After the War:
How the Recent Conflict in Gaza Affects Lesson Plans
by Dan Pine for the JWeekly

In the social studies class she teaches at a Jewish day school in Foster City, Rebecca Fisher recently brought up the subject of media bias.
To illustrate the topic, she showed her eighth-graders Internet news articles about Operation Protective Edge, Israel's incursion into Gaza that took place this past summer.

"I used an example from Al Jazeera [which falsely said] every death in Gaza was a civilian death," said Fisher, who teaches middle-schoolers at Ronald C. Wornick Jewish Day School. "I had them circle different words and underline the bias they felt was there. I loved the conversation that was happening in the room. The majority were extremely engaged."

Enter Here     
Based on input from educators like you and feedback received during a successful series of "Gatherings of Educators in Times of Crisis," we recently added a NEW section, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, with many links covering history, narratives and more. Visit our resources and forum here.

Highlighted Resources

 Resource Category: Conflict & Peace -  The iCenter for Israel Education

The Gaza Conflict Educational Material - Makom of Jewish Agency for Israel

Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Day 
Commemorated according to the Jewish calendar on 12 of Cheshvan (this year on November 5) or on the Gregorian calendar on November 4. Use resources from our

piyutPiyut with Yair Harel
Hands-on Workshop for Educators with Visiting Artist

Yair Harel is a world-renowned Israeli musician, performer, artistic director, and community organizer based in Jerusalem, and one of the main figures behind the revival and contemporary interpretation of the ancient art of Piyut (liturgical Hebrew poetry). 

Hebrew poems (piyutim), chanted for centuries across the Diaspora, have been adapted to different melodies, evolving into a form of  "Jewish world music" with roots in Europe, the Mediterranean, North Africa, and the Middle East. In the last decade, the global Jewish music of Piyut has exploded into a national movement in Israel with annual music festivals, recordings by Israel's rock stars, and Piyut singing communities, and is now spreading to North America. 


Traditional poetry and music are wonderful educational tools that can open many gates to interpretations on identity, diversity and spirituality.


Come be a part of this revival!


Tuesday, October 28, 5-8pm

JewishLearning Works

601 14th Ave.

San Francisco


Dinner will be served

$10 Suggested Donation for Food and a CD with Piyutim


RSVP to Lynn Rothman

Space is Limited

The workshop is for all educators. Musicians are welcomed to bring instruments.


Yair Harel is the Schusterman Visiting Israeli Artist at The Magnes, UC Berkeley, supported by the Israel Institute.


Click here for more details


talentsTalents in our Community  
Local and Visiting Artists and Educators

Lior Ben-Hur
Musician and Educator 
LIOR BEN-HUR & Sol Tevel in Boee Kala
LIOR BEN-HUR & Sol Tevel in Boee Kal

Born and raised in Jerusalem, Lior Ben-Hur has traveled all over the world where he spent time learning, performing and sharing experiences with musicians and artists. His band, Sol Tevel performs regularly in San Francisco.

Lior Ben-Hur offers a variety of educational and musical programs for every age group. In the past 10 years Lior has worked with numerous Hebrew schools, day schools, congregations, Hillel houses and camps, and has experience working with kids, college students and adults.

Sharon Katz
Musician, Peace Activist and Educator

Sharon Katz used her musical talents, Jewish education and Habonim leadership training to do Tikkun Olam in her home country of South Africa after Nelson Mandela was released from prison. Her project, The Peace Train, brought together youth of all races, religions and cultures in a 500-voice choir; backed it with her professional band; and toured across the country by train to promote human rights and a peaceful transition to democracy. 

Sharon performs and teaches in Israel every year where she is always in demand for her musical collaborations and story of The Peace Train project. Now traveling the world as a musician and educator, Sharon is the subject of a forthcoming documentary film entitled When Voices Meet. 

Sharon is a Visiting Professor at The California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco until December 2014.

Hadas Goldman

CEO of Tarbut movement

A creative social action-based Zionism for the 21st century


Tarbut brings groups of artists from all fields of art to live and work in low-income towns and neighborhoods throughout Israel. These artists are committed to tackling Israel's most pressing social issues, by using art and culture as an educational tool. They define themselves as "social-artists", and see the potential for leadership, creativity and empowerment in the children, youth and adults they work with. In 2014, Tarbut has over 500 artists (age 19-31) spread out in 20 cities across the country, working with thousands of people day to day.


Hadas will be happy to meet you and your community during her visit in the Bay Area on November 11-16, to present some of the difficult issues Israel is coping with in its geo-social periphery and Tarbut's unique approach to addressing them. She is available to talk to groups of teens, young adults and adults about the inspiring work of Tarbut


Chick here to contact Hadas 

Read More about Tarbut 

Call (Israel) +972-50-2029904


Tarbut Movement
Tarbut Movement


engageiEngage Conference - Shalom Hartman Institute
Save the Date - December 11, 2014

The Shalom Hartman Institute of North America and Jewish LearningWorks invite educators to save the date for a daylong seminar in the Bay Area where we will study and discuss the values of loyalty, empathy, and moral clarity as they relate to Jewish communal life in America and the State of Israel.

The special iEngage one-day conference is for rabbis, educators, board chairs, and Jewish communal professionals, with a special track for educators, facilitated together with Jewish LearningWorks.


Loyalty, Empathy, and Moral Clarity: an iEngage Conference

December 11, 2014, 9am-5pm

Details and registration info coming soon

Times of active conflict and their immediate aftermath often bring our own values into conflict with one another. Balancing our concern for the suffering of all people with our understanding of Israel's need for security offers no easy answers. It is difficult to engage in complex conversations with others when everyone's looking for black and white solutions, particularly when we don't have answers for ourselves.


The day will feature a broad array of workshops with a great variety of scholars.  Details and registration information will follow but please SAVE THE DATE and share with your colleagues and board members.

evetsLocal Events

Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival
Ongoing until November 16

Talking About Israel:Jews and Muslims
With Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman and Imam Abdullah T. Anterpli
Tuesday, November 4, 7PM
JCCSF, San Francisco

Exploring Piyut: The World of Sacred Hebrew Song 
A presentation and performance by Yair Harel
Thursday, November 20, 7PM
Jewish Community Library, San Francisco

OFJCC, Palo Alto

Contact Jewish LearningWorks' 
Israel Education Initiative Team:
Ilan Vitemberg, Director
Vavi Toran, Arts & Culture Specialist