As part of our core mission to enhance Israel knowledge among teens, we at the Center for Israel Education are excited to announce the launch of a six-week online instructional program for Atlanta teens in Grades 9 to 12.

This opportunity will be open to select students, who will participate in weekly online classes on Israel-related topics. New lessons will be posted each Sunday, and students will have a week to complete them. Each lesson will be 30 minutes in length.

Last year, in my first column for the Atlanta Jewish Times, I wrote about the need to transform Israel education from overly focusing on advocacy toward a broader understanding of Israeli and Zionist history, politics and culture. I asked, “If we only teach Israel in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict, what will our students learn about Jewish self-determination, state-building, creativity and ingenuity?”

Over the past year we have made great strides towards implementing this vision. We created an adult education program on the June 1967 war and its long-term impact, expanded our curriculum for second to seventh grades and continued our professional development work with Israel educators from throughout North America.

CIE delivered presentations at local schools and international youth conventions on issues dealing with religion and state, the origins of Zionism, and Israeli politics.

IDEAL is the next step in reaching larger audiences using the CIE website and engaging young learners with technology.

As members of the inaugural cohort, students will get to provide feedback about the program’s content, format and delivery method throughout the six weeks.

We are seeking inquisitive and dedicated learners who are interested in supplementing their knowledge of Israeli history, culture and contemporary issues. Interested students can apply at The deadline is Oct. 15.

Selected students and their parents will be invited to attend a kickoff event Oct. 29 with CIE founder and President Ken Stein on the Emory campus. A culminating event will be held Dec. 17.

For questions or more information, contact me at

Rich Walter is the associate director for Israel education at the Center for Israel Education (