Source: Etrog at Neveh Channah
Many Jewish education experts have been recommending the utilization of informal, experiential education methods within formal education frameworks in order to enhance students identification with Jewish values, living and identity. Ariel Zisken describes the special Etrog Program at Ulpanat Neveh Channah in the Etzion Bloc, Israel which has been implementing experiential education methods for fifteen years.
Fifteen years ago, the ETROG (Al Tevoaini Regel Gaava - Let not the foot of pride overtake me – Psalms 36,11) Program began at Neveh Channah. The program offered a voluntary Torah enrichment environment for the students of Neveh Channah, a modern Orthodox Zionist High School for girls. The students of all grade levels may choose to join the program which takes place every Wednesday afternoon and evening. Today, about one third of the student body actively participates in Etrog.
The program includes Torah lessons with ETROG teachers, chevruta learning, inspirational sessions of spiritual song (the Etrog students have produced two discs of ETROG favorites), meetings with special guests and social games and activities with special Etrog counselors. The Etrog girls are involved in activities until late in the evening, sleeping over Wednesday nights at the school.
During the school year ETROG has special Shabbatonim, throughout the country devoted to different areas of Jewish life. The ETROG girls also prepare special celebrations for Jewish holidays throughout the year.
The girls share their activities with ETROG graduates via an email newsletter and a wiki based website which has been developed over the last few years.
A group of ETROG students produced a video in order to offer a glimpse of the ETROG Experience.