TalentED, due to launch early next year, aims to attract and train quality educators

A new venture to ensure there are enough Jewish educators to meet the needs of the diaspora is in the pipeline.

TalentED, which is due to launch in January, will be piloted in Britain and the USA. It has been initiated by Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs and the Jewish Agency and will draw on local partneships.

The programme has two parts, said Michael Wegier, the former UJIA chief executive who has been working as a consultant to the project since April.

The first is to set up a “global database to connect people, places and positions”.

The second will be to train educators to the requisite standards, collaborating with local agencies such as Pajes, the London School of Jewish Studies or the youth network Reshet here.

Rabbi David Meyer, executive director of Pajes, said it was an “exciting and innovative global initiative which will help address a critical need.

“TalentEd will not only assist in the recruitment of staff but, working closely with schools, will ensure they have access to training and support, endeavouring to ensure the long-term success of our new teachers, and maximise the benefits for our students.”

Mr Wegier, an experienced educator himself who headed the Melitz Centre for informal education in Israel, says there are people in various situations who could be attracted into the educational field.

“It could be an Israeli who had been a shaliach abroad. Or a partner of someone who was relocating for a job. Or a graduate of the Masa Teaching Fellowship.” (The Masa scheme is a post-university gap year scheme to teach English in Israel).

According to Mr Wegier, the new venture reflects increasing investment by the Ministry in Jewish education abroad. It has backed Masa, Birthright trips to Israel, Hillel programmes and Jewish schooling in Europe.

The realisation dawned that recruitment was a global issue. “Everywhere you go in North America, informal education institutions are struggling to recruit people. In the UK, it a challenge for schools to recruit and retain staff,” Mr Wegier said.

The scheme will be headed by Aharoni Carmel, who has in education for over 20 years and run schools in Israel and the USA.

To find out more, contact office@talentednetwork.org