OTS Derech Avot High School in Efrat Awarded Education Prize
An Israeli Beit Midrash integrates religious texts with current affairs, spiritual empowerment with physical wellbeing, and offers a range of excellent programs – these are only some of the activities and initiatives that won OTS Derech Avot high school the Religious State Education System’s Secondary Education Award for the Judea and Samaria Region, granted this week
Dvir Amar | 15 November, 2022
This week the Religious State Education System’s Secondary Education Award for the Judea and Samaria Region for scholastic year 2022/2023 was presented to Ohr Torah Stone’s Derech Avot high school. The award was granted for pedagogic work, school innovation and creativity, alongside the high quality and optimal education it offers.
The Award was presented to the high school’s principal, Rabbi Yoni Hollander, and the school staff during a visit by the 12 members of the Award Committee to the school, which lies in Efrat’s regional council. Committee members comprise educators from throughout the country – from the Golan Heights to Mitzpe Ramon – who came to acknowledge the school’s work and familiarize themselves with it, as well as to examine the school’s candidacy for the National Education Award.
“I am glad that the school’s dedication, love, and professionalism have reverberated in the hearts of the committee members,” said Principal Rabbi Yoni Hollander. “During the visit the committee members were exposed to the details of our diverse activities, our study tracks, and our broad community – as individuals and in our togetherness.”
For instance, the committee members listened as students described their work in Derech Avot’s “Israeli Beit Midrash”, headed by pedagogic coordinator Attar Geibel. The Beit Midrash serves as a sphere in which students can seek religious and Jewish relevance as they attempt to shape their religious-Zionist worldview in the 21st century. They do this by studying current affairs alongside traditional texts and sources, in addition to more recent Israeli texts.
The committee members also took a peek at the activities taking place in the school’s El Halev Center, which coordinator Shlomit Mor-Yosef is heading for the second consecutive year. The Center offers pupils a wide range of activity spheres for spiritual and physical empowerment, enabling them to take a break from their study routine to practice yoga, mindfulness, carpentry, dog training, youth debate teams, and more.
“We admire your wonderful, high quality, and professional educational work, and the faith and devotion that characterize you,” said Boaz Columbus, Secondary Education Supervisor and Chair of the Award Committee, at the award ceremony. “You are a source of inspiration to all secondary schools in Judea and Samaria as educators who nurture graduates to a God- fearing life of love for country and state, devotion to Torah, and contributing meaningfully to the nation, the state, and society.”
“We live in an age in which it is clear to all that educational institutions must move beyond serving merely as a house of inculcating knowledge in our children,” said Ohr Torah Stone’s Director General Yinon Ahiman at the conclusion of the visit. “Derech Avot’s dedicated professional team is an example and role model for educational institutes centered on love and respect for their students while striving for scholastic excellence and creating an inclusive safe sphere in which to develop their spirit.”