In November 2013, the Israeli Ministry of Education announced its intention to introduce a new concept in Israel – public summer school for elementary schoolchildren. The main objective behind the idea was to create meaningful learning experiences for low-income Israeli children during July, thereby introducing a value-added “11th month” to the Israeli school year.
Sensing the urgency of this exciting new opportunity, two prominent family foundations – the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and The Steinhardt Family Foundation in Israel – decided to take action. These insightful foundations recognized the increasing importance of English for Israeli students and professionals, on the one hand, and the growing need for an authentic educational service project in Israel for young, international Jewishly-connected educators, on the other. The two foundations partnered with Israel's Ministry of Education to create a unique new program on Israel’s educational landscape – TALMA.
TALMA, the Israel Program for Excellence in English, is both an English-immersion program for low-income Israeli elementary schoolchildren and a Fellowship for international teacher-leaders in the movement for educational equity.
Under the guiding belief that English proficiency is essential to unlocking future opportunities for Israel's low-income youth, TALMA's social justice driven international educators devote their summer to volunteer-teaching with TALMA. In return, participating educators - TALMA Fellows - receive an all-expenses-paid summer of top-notch professional development and networking opportunities in Israel, an inspiring location that serves as the ideal backdrop for learning how to lead and create social change within complex systems and environments.