The Global School Twinning Network (GSTN) is an initiative of the Jewish Agency for Israel that provides an opportunity for Jewish students around the world to meet and have conversations around Jewish identity and social responsibility. The project successfully promotes connection with Israel through numerous virtual collaborative activities with a group of Israeli students from the Rogozin School. At the end of the two-year project, Masada students travel to Israel to meet their peers.
Masada College has been part of the GSTN since 2018, with Years 7 and 8 Hebrew classes currently involved. The students use an online bulletin board to communicate with their Israeli counterparts where they share short films about themselves and their communities. This enables students to develop a deeper understanding about each other’s way of life. Masada students reply in Hebrew and the Rogozin students reply in English which develops language skills for both groups of students.
This year, students also collaborated on a community project, Mishloach Manot (the Jewish tradition of sending gifts on the Jewish of holiday of Purim), and distributed packages to the Wolper Hospital with their message. Likewise, Rogozin students provided packages to children with disabilities.
The schools also designed a virtual Hebrew and English newspaper together and created language games for each other to enhance language skills. Both schools participated in an international project creating a Passover themed recipe book in Hebrew and English.
Adi Halevi, Head of Hebrew at Masada says the interaction with Rogozin School has been incredibly beneficial for all involved. “Students from both schools have improved their language skills and enjoyed learning the cultural differences and similarities in teenagers in the two countries,” she said. “The collaboration on a joint community project was very special. Allowing students to share cultural insights in this way is a truly unique opportunity. Students developed their IT skills and worked collaboratively, despite the geographical distance,” she said. Masada College and Rogozin School are currently developing new initiatives such as virtual tours of sites across Australia and Israel, as well as a photography competition. “We plan to work with the Sydney Opera House, the Museum of Contemporary Art and Israeli galleries to connect high school students with artists and authors from the two countries,” said Mrs Halevi.
A year ago, our Junior School students also joined the Global School Twinning Network, beginning a partnership with a school in Israel called Aliza Begin. Our Year 6 Hebrew classes began their partnership by writing blessings to each other for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.