Community Place Based Education (CPBE)

Vibrant community place-based alternatives offer an antidote to the over-digitized consumer experience that takes up all too much of childhood today. Rooted in a compelling worldview of education as intimately linked to community, the natural world and civic involvement- CPBE seeks to connect people and places in an engaging way. Integrating hands-on community projects in education that enrich personal and communal identity (ie: local histories, renovation and restoration projects, volunteering and mentorship)  open exciting opportunities for inclusive civic involvement at the local level. A  chance for young people to belong, be proactive and to make a difference – all necessary drivers for the transition to a sustainable way of life.

The Heschel Center was instrumental in setting up the Green Schools Network in Israel (Reshet Yeruka) 15 years ago, which has trained teachers in hundreds of schools across the country to infuse sustainability across their curricula. The Network and Heschel then went on to develop the CPBE model to mobilize local educational authorities around place- based education, as part and parcel of a  holistic educational strategy for their community.

The following are some milestones reached in the last 2 years:

  • Five cities and towns have adopted the CPBE  integrated model as strategy for their local education system- including the Arab town of Jatt and the city of Mizpe Ramon in the Negev
  • A National Conference on place -based education attracted over 750 practitioners at the Kibbutzim College, showcasing approached and good practices.
  • Developed an array of curriculum materials including a Handbook of CPBE Guidelines for communities.
  • Ran two successful training courses for 40 local education leaders.

The Heschel Center for Sustainability works to promote a sustainable Israel: a just and cohesive society, a robust and democratic economy, and a healthy and productive environment for all its residents, now and in the future.