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Preparing for Life on Campus: The Complexities of Jewish Identity and Israel

Course Developed by Jonathan Cannon

As students from Jewish Day Schools head to undergraduate programs across North America, how prepared are they to face the hornet’s nest of politics, activism and antisemitism directed towards Israel? How much do they understand the complex issues and tensions they may face as they set off on their own--many for the first time? And how prepared are they to advocate on behalf of Israel while maintaining a firm hold on their Jewish identity? The goal of this online course will be to teach about Israel-related challenges that students will encounter on college campuses. The course units will address the relationship of the student with Israel as well as the significance of Intersectionality and the BDS Movement. It will also provide an opportunity for the student to develop their own thoughts and strategies to help him or her be educated around these issues before encountering them in a post-high school environment.

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Mr. Cannon is an experienced school leader and an expert in managing school systems. He was most recently Head of School at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. Cannon currently is working with over 65 schools to provide change management support, culture  audits, professional development and leadership guidance. He directs the AVI CHAI sponsored Jewish Day School Collaborative, and summer program for JDS leaders at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Mr. Cannon led a team of subject matter experts and curriculum developers on the creation of this course. The team includes The Virtual High School staffers, John Englander, Associate Dean of Humanities, and Lisa Micley, OJSC Program Director. In addition, three Jewish day school educators, Bill Cohen and Gabriel Meyerson from Milken Community High School, and Meirav Kravetz from Rabbi Alexander S. Gross Hebrew Academy helped to develop this course.

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