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Toda, Israel

Dave Wilson

I spent five days recently immersing myself in the educational culture of Israel, a wonderful country that beforehand, I didn’t associate with educational innovations (mostly my own fault, being a relatively myopic American).

From the second I landed until the moment I left, I was amazed and inspired by the groundbreaking work I witnessed, from cutting-edge robotics teams to schools bringing ADHD-afflicted students to the next level.

We’ll be publishing more about our trip over the course of the next few weeks, but at the 10,000-foot level, here’s a look at some key take-aways:

  • The educational future of Israel is in good hands, from principal Eli Nachman at the Bialik Rogozin School Campus to Moshe Dolev, principal and CEO of the Mevo’ot Yam youth village.
  • The people of Israel care deeply about the education of their children. This was apparent from the second we sat down with Eyal Ram, Israel’s director of Educational Workers Administration, Ministry of Education, until our last couple of school visits with Tel Aviv deputy mayor Asaf Zamir.
  • Kids like Uri Flid and Neta Roth at the Studio Ankori in Tel Aviv showed us that the arts are alive, well, and being cultivated excitedly in Israeli schools.
  • Food, in copious amounts, brings us all closer together.

Of course, after such an intense trip, some thanks are in order.

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Thanks to Lisa, Terry, Ronnie, and Utkarsh for being a multinational team of co-conspirators on this trip. I enjoyed your company and insights on this trip immensely.

Thanks to the team at Vibe Israel, including Joanna Landau, Rotem Wiesman, and Michal Sheffer, who pulled the strings behind the scenes to make sure that all the dots were connected. Ancillary players in these roles were photographer Amit Shemash and Tamy Eisenberg, who laughed at all of our jokes and helped translate things in living color.

Lastly, thanks to the tirelessly brilliant Adva David, our tour manager extraordinaire, who was a constant cheerleader (and a relentless good cop/bad cop), food recommender, cultural explainer, and the one who got us from point to point on time and on deadline. She was always up just a little bit earlier and later than us, undoubtedly worrying about all the little things that could go wrong.