WXXI AM News

Pittsford-Israel education connection

Dec 11, 2017

Ziva Babayan, school principal in Modi'in, Israel, visits Calkins Road Middle School in Pittsford
Credit Pittsford Central School District.

Educators from Pittsford and schools in a city in Israel are exchanging ideas through a partnership designed to build global citizens.

It's called Partnership2Gether, and Ziva Babyan  is a school principal in Modi'in, Israel.

She is joining 11 educators from Israel visiting the Pittsford Central School District.

Babayan says the program benefits students and educators.

"To meet another's culture, to meet another system, and to look to see what I can use in my school," she said.

Betsy Parke is a 6th grade English teacher at the Calkins Road Middle School.

"It's a partnership program and a people to people connection and the ultimate goal is trying to connect across oceans, really.  But having the connection with Pittsford is the first time they've done the curricular connection with a public school, so we're pretty excited about the program," she said. "We've paired up our students with their students so they're being able to not only communicate from a curricular base, but they're actually it's you know it's like developing a friendship, which is really what the program is about, too."

Pittsford teacher Betsy Parke and School Principal from Modi'in, Ziva Babayan
Credit Pittsford Central School District.

Parke adds she visited Modi'in earlier this year, says there are now 11 educators from Israel visiting Pittsford schools as part of the Partnership2Gether program.

The program is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester.

She says while her class isn't discussing fully the President's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, her students were asking their Israeli visitors about that.

Babayan adds she's not concerned for her safety back home in the wake of President Trump announcing that he's recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.