The School for Jerusalem Studies
In 2007, the Israeli government recognized the unique status of Yad Ben-Zvi for the study and dissemination of knowledge about Jerusalem for the general public, and decided to establish the School, in partnership with the Ministry of Education.
The School for Jerusalem Studies routinely holds tours for adults in Hebrew and in other languages. Instructors from the school conduct expeditions all over the city for about 500 groups annually. The School holds seminars for governmental and private organizations as well as an annual event – "Jerusalem Syndrome" – on Jerusalem Day, together with Beit Avichai and the Ginot Ha’Ir Community Council, with the sponsorship of the Jerusalem Municipality.
The School is identified with its activity within the educational system in Israel. Schools approach the School for Jerusalem Studies independently in order to receive a variety of products according to their needs. The Schools also initiates many projects, some of which are funded by the authorities. In 2013-2014 1300 pupils took part in these programs.
1. The Jerusalem Mosaic. This project is run with the Municipality of Jerusalem. Pupils from the 5th – 8th grades take part in an expedition funded by the Municipality’s Education Department; these expeditions address select topics related to the city’s history.
2. The Jerusalem Cluster. The main goal of this program is to connect the city’s children to their neighbourhoods and their city and to deepen their knowledge and familiarity with their surroundings in a variety of ways. This year we continued the program which began in 2011-2012. The flagship program of this project is to give sixth-graders the tools which will enable them to be tour guides in the city, especially in their own neighbourhhoods. This program is part of a long-term project in which we aim to improve the connection between Jerusalem’s children and their city. So far, this program has taken place in three of the city’s neighbourhoods, and in 2015 another fifteen schools from all over the city will join the project.
3. My Jerusalem – this program is aimed at seventh-graders from all over Israel (together with the Western Wall Heritage Foundation), with the support of the Ministry of Education. It includes lessons in the classroomwhich prepare the pupils for subsequent tours of the city.
4. The Tale of a Place – A program run with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry for Senior Citizens. This consists of interviews of senior citizens by junior-high pupils held in the former’s places of residence in fifteen locations in Israel’s peripheral regions. The aim of the project is to jointly compose a “book of the settlement of Israel” and thus to preserve society’s historical awareness.
5. Technology-combined tours – this is one of the most valuable programs developed by the School; it enables an experience-rich tour in a variety of neighbourhoods in Jerusalem. Likewise, the School has developed two educational programs about leadership suitable for primary and high schools and make use of I-Pads. These programs deal with the figure and personality of Izhak Ben-Zvi as a model of leadership.
Following the success of theses tours, we now offer tailor-made tours, crafted upon demand to suit groups of individuals who wish to celebrate various occasions, such as Bar Mitzvahs or birthdays. The groups give a member of the staff material (movies, sound recordings, photos etc.) beforehand; a special tour is then created, and each participant receives a Power Point presentation by e-mail.
The School also conducts a variety of programs for the security forces, the IDF and the Israeli Police. These include projects aimed at the various education units within the IDF, guided tours and seminars for the commanding ranks.