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December 19, 2003 - Image 135

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-12-19

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

in Mexico City after graduation. "I
do wish that teachers were better
paid," said Memun, who spent three
summers as a camp counselor. "But
children fascinate me, and this is
what I want to do."
In addition to lobbying for higher
teacher salaries, Fainstein's strategy
includes an intellectual revolution. As
the university reaches out for Mexico's
brightest students and scholars, it also
will extend its efforts beyond the
country's borders.

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"There is now a great necessity in
Latin American Jewish communities
to train teachers," Jinich said. "Some
communities are too small to do this
themselves, and support from the
Hebraic University will be important."
Even in Latin America's largest
Jewish community — in Buenos Aires
— an economic crisis has crippled
school resources. An estimated 10,000
Jews have left Argentina, mostly for
Israel and the United States, since the
economic crisis hit about three years
ago. Two Jewish teachers' colleges in
Argentina have closed since then,
Fainstein said.
South American Jewish communi-
ties that for many years saw Buenos
Aires as the leader of Jewish life on
the continent now are looking north
for educational resources.
Blaustein of Chile hopes to work
with the Hebraic University to
develop technology-focused train-
ing for teachers in her country.
"What I'd like to see is a combina-
tion of e-learning and a tailor-made
program in which educators would
come to Chile to work with our
teachers," she said.
By next fall, the university plans to
install video conferencing technology
that would allow students throughout
Latin America to take Hebraic
University courses on the Internet in
real time. It also will offer self-paced
distance-learning classes that can be
accessed at any time.
The university plans to expand its
library and enhance its technological
capabilities in the next two years. It
will rely on funding from the Jewish
Agency For Israel's e-learning initia-
tive and is seeking private donors.
"We need people with a vision for
the future who understand that
without an institution like the
Hebraic University, it's not possible
for Jewish life here to continue,"
Fainstein said. 1

rust,

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2003

12/19

111

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