We were hard at work developing the English version of the Bible curriculum when we received a request to create a version in Hebrew for Israeli schools. We could never have planned this! During the 2014-2015 school year, the Israeli public schools in Ramat Gan near Tel Aviv participated in the world’s first pilot test of the 9th grade Bible curriculum.
Israel requires all students in public schools to study the Bible as one of their main courses of education, from first grade straight through grade 12. By the time they graduate from high school they are expected to have a thorough grasp of the Hebrew Scriptures (the Tanakh or Old Testament). However, the way it has been taught has been almost untouched for the last 50 years. Both students and teachers are excited about this whole new approach to teaching the Bible that is not only committed to accuracy, but especially written and presented in an engaging way.
On my recent trips to Israel, I have had the opportunity to check in on some of these students and teachers a few times. A teacher of special needs kids shared that most of his students did not read the Bible at all due to their learning disabilities. However, having the Bible as an app on their tablet computers has removed the mental barrier and his students are now reading the Bible regularly.
Just as many centuries ago God’s written word emanated from ancient Israel, modern Israel now seems poised to play a major role in producing and spreading the high tech version throughout the Holy Land, and then far beyond!