Innovator Karen Tal & Tovanot B’Hinuch: Rethinking Education as a Tool for Peace

Educator Karen Tal.  Still from the film   Strangers No More

Educator Karen Tal. Still from the film Strangers No More

Karen Tal’s ideas about how to educate have taken hold in a far-reaching way, in Israel and beyond. Having led the Bialik-Rogozin school to solid footing, she was confident that the school would continue on its successful path when, in September 2011, she stepped into a new role as founding director of an initiative called Tovanot B’Hinuch (Education Insights). This program oversees and supports schools and principals throughout the nation, with a holistic view of schools as “educational, therapeutic, and social centers.” Funds and resources are located for creative new curricula, summer camps and classes, parent-education, youth centers, and volunteer mentoring programs.

Children are inherently good, loving, and collaborative. All we need to do is to foster and channel those qualities.

Among the many initiatives supported by Tovanot B’Hinuch are several geared toward strengthening the education opportunities for all in Israel. Recently, for example, it sponsored a Big Sisters program inaugurated at the ORT Arab High School for the Sciences and Engineering in Lod. In May 2016, Tovanot B’Hinuch was the centerpiece of a TedX Youth conference in Tel Aviv. The following month, a delegation of educators from Harvard University visited one of its affiliate schools: Almostakbal Elementary, in the Arab town of Jaljulia. To date, Tovanot B’Hinuch is linked with some 20 schools in Israel's urban and geographic periphery, with a total of 11,500 students. The schools include nine elementary schools, ten secondary schools (middle schools and high schools) and a K-13 campus. And Karen has no plans to stop at the border.

Karen Tal makes a simple presumption: that children are inherently good, loving, and collaborative. All we need to do is to foster and channel those qualities, and we might end up with a future of peace.

Tovanot B’Hinuch >