reimagine israel education
IMPACT educates learners to negotiate between Israel and their civic and Jewish identities by exploring their meanings, conflicts, and points of integration. Through our educational programs, participants explore why Israel and why Jewish are compelling values to embrace in the buffet of options in pursuing a meaningful life. Everyone will ultimately develop their own identities as they encounter Israel as an idea and value of the long-running saga of the Jewish story.
Our educational vision is rooted in the following goals:
WHO WE WORK WITH
WHAT WE DO
For learners affiliated with schools, camps, youth groups, campus organizations and young adult leadership, our programs are tailored to the needs of each cohort. Organized, facilitated and managed by our team of seasoned Israel educators, we offer a diverse set of offerings of interactive presentations, tours and seminars in Israel, asynchronous content, and curriculum consultations.
MEET OUR EDUCATORS
Benji Davis, the founder and director of IMPACT Israel Education, is an American-born Israeli educator specializing in Israel education. He and his team are experts in providing Israel education experiences to Jewish teens and young adults on short- and long-term Israel programs. IMPACT provides geopolitical lectures for Birthright-Israel groups, leads seminars, tours and Shabbatons for many visiting groups to Israel, and specializes in asynchronous and synchronous online Israel education for learners before and after their Israel experience. Benji grew up in Los Angeles, California, holds a BA in Middle East Studies & History from the George Washington University, an MA in Jewish Education from the Hebrew University and is a doctoral student at the University of Haifa in the Faculty of Education, focusing his research on teacher knowledge of Israel educators of Jewish teens. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife Rachel and daughters Maia and Ella. Email: email@example.com
Liel was born in Berkeley, California. Her parents made Aliyah when she was six and raised her and her siblings in Israel. When Liel completed her national service, she moved to the States for college and got involved with Hillel, staffing Birthright trips, and being active in Israel education on campus. Liel spent three years working at Rutgers Hillel as the IACT Birthright Coordinator and then as The Director of Israel Engagement and Jewish Life. Liel holds a Masters Degree in Jewish Education from Hebrew University and has worked for many Jewish and Israel educational organizations such as; Birthright, Onward Israel, Pardes, and The ICenter. Liel is a licensed Israeli tour guide, currently lives in Jerusalem, and when she’s not working as an Israel/Jewish educator she dreams of becoming a Broadway director. Email: Liel.firstname.lastname@example.org
Calev Ben Dor
Originally from London, Calev is an Israel educator for IMPACT. Since making Aliyah to Israel in 2005, he has spent over a decade in the policy world in Israel, both inside and outside government at the Reut Institute, BICOM and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He also has many years’ experience in informal education, teaching about Israel and Jewish texts (and the interplay between them) in Israel, the UK, Australia, South Africa and Hong Kong. Calev holds a first-class honors Bachelor degree from Leeds University in International History and Politics and an MSc from the London School of Economics in History of International Relations. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and two children. Email: email@example.com
For over thirty years, Alan has developed a specialty in teaching text and history, both formally and informally, combining classroom studies with inspiring field trips for Ramah Israel, Young Judaea Year Course, Tochnit Shalem, and more. He leads educational heritage tours to Poland and consults for numerous Israel education organizations. As a life-long learner, Alan has a B.A. in Sociology and Judaic Studies, M.A. in Modern Jewish History, Rabbinic Ordination. and is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Graetz College. He lives in Nechusha, a Moshav in the Ellah Valley, with his wife and two kids. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rajel Leghziel, Mexican by birth, Israeli by choice. lives in Jerusalem with her family. She has a BA and an MA in International Relations with a specialization in Politics and Diplomacy. She has been working for more than a decade as an informal educator, promoting innovative programming about Israel, its politics and society. She has hosted groups and international delegations at the Knesset, discussing issues related to democracy, transparency and legislation. she is a member of the Jerusalem Press Club, an NGO which provides foreign press correspondents with objective and balanced sources about current events in Israel. Email: email@example.com
Elon Amit specializes in creating online Israel education content and leading virtual synchronous learning experiences. Born and raised in Israel, Elon spent his summers at Camp Ramah in California as a camper, counselor, and educator. Following his five year army service as an officer in the Paratroopers, Elon has worked as lead educator on Israel trips including school trips, college tours, Birthright Israel, and family experiences. Having been brought up in Israel by parents who made Aliyah together with a deep understanding of the cultural and Jewish life around the world has given Elon a unique perspective of Israel Education. When not writing content or teaching online, Elon is a lead tour educator at the Knesset. Email: Elon.Amit@gmail.com
Michael Unterberg has been an educator for over 20 years. He was a founding member of the Torat Tzion Kollel movement, led the Jewish History department at Fuchs Mizrachi School, and was lead educator for Write on For Israel in Cleveland, Ohio. Michael helped develop the Makom Challenging Israel curriculum, using the Understanding by Design framework, and is the creator and host of Makom’s Israel Teachers Lounge podcast. Mike lectures on Israel and Zionism to Birthright groups and various visiting Israel Missions. Michael studied philosophy in and received smicha (Rabbinic Ordination) from Yeshiva University. Mike and his wife Dara live in Efrat and have five children, two grandchildren and a mini-Schnauzer. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Matthew Lipman has been working in Israel education for over 15 years. He has taught Judaic Studies at Jewish Day Schools in North America and led many innovative programs at those schools. He has written high-tech educational materials for U.S. public schools and the IDF and directed the multimedia development of an online Jewish day school. In addition to his teaching work at several gap year programs in Israel, he has trained Day School leaders in North America to create meaningful Israel education programs. Matthew has a B.A. in Politics and History from the University of Liverpool and holds a Master’s Degree in Jewish Education from the Hebrew University. He lives with his family in Modi’in. Email: email@example.com
We'd like to share some exemplary work of our students!
Tamar Yahalom, 2020-2021 gap year student in Israel, writes a piece arguing that the cultural and political divide between American and Israeli Jews is rooted in a flawed understanding of Israel as a western country.
Batya Koenigsberg, 2019-2020 gap year student in Israel, argues the contemporary rift between American and Israeli Jews is due to the majority of American Jews excluding a national identity from their Jewish identities, which influences their level of engagement, solidarity and sympathy for Israeli Jews.