In addition to my productivity in research and my intense investment in teaching and advising, I hold several key academic roles. Currently, I serve as member of the University’s Highest Committee for Academic Promotion & Tenure as well as member of the University’s Highest Academic Council.
I serve as Chair of the Board of Directors at the Institute for the Advancement of Teaching, Learning and Social Integration in Education (Bar-Ilan University). I also serve as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Center for Science Education.
At Bar-Ilan University, from 2010 until 2014, I served as Vice Director (equivalent to Associate Dean in the U.S.) of the School of Education, which is the largest school of education in Israel.
I also headed the Teacher Education Department, which is the largest department in Israel, including 16 divisions of teacher education in various discipline areas, as well as the internship and professional development tracks. Altogether, the Teacher Education Department serves about 850 students. During my term, the curriculum underwent revision to adhere to the national reform in teacher education. To this end, I led the faculty in collaborative analysis, evaluation, and revision of both curriculum and pedagogy, reviewing syllabi and class evaluations as well as recruiting new faculty members.
From 2008 to 2013, I headed the Urban Principal Preparation Program, which drew an extremely diverse population studying together in a cohort group. Inasmuch as leadership programs around the world have been criticized for failing to effectively develop prospective principals’ leadership capacities, I led a thorough revision and reorganization of this program, which was successfully approved by the Ministry of Education. To develop an innovative leadership program that forges strong connections between theory, research, and practice, I collaborated actively with faculty members, students, and policy-makers.
In addition, I served as head of the David and Fela Shapell Holocaust Educators Initiative. I led the development and implementation of this program, which provides a unique framework for training future teachers in a variety of aspects of Holocaust education. As a son of Holocaust survivors, I was privileged to develop the first and only higher education program in Israel to train prospective teachers in teaching the Holocaust.
Another project under my responsibility was the development of our Education Simulation Center, the first such center to be constructed in Israel’s higher education. Simulating authentic case studies in a uniquely designed technological center enhances both teachers’ and administrators’ ability to overcome complex situations in school settings. Development of this technological simulation center was in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.
In addition, I volunteer to serve as the School of Education’s liaison to students who need special assistance due to various disabilities or to absences for military reserve duty, pregnancy bedrest, maternity leave, and so forth.
I also serve as committee member and academic and professional advisor in numerous Ministry of Education projects. For example, I served on the steering committee of an innovative national program for the Ministry of Education entitled Leveraging Learning: The Contribution of Learning from Successes to the Development of School Learning. Serving on the board of this national program and assuming consultant and researcher roles in both Jewish and Arab schools have elucidated for me the imperative to break down boundaries between the academic and practitioner communities. Engaging in cooperative outreach ventures with superintendents, administrators, and teachers illuminated the need to consider multiple perspectives in a multicultural environment. My research based on this national program appeared in Teachers College Record and the International Journal of Leadership in Education. Knowledge gained from this national program was disseminated and implemented in other schools nationwide. Currently, I serve as academic advisor in an effort to develop a national educational research and development federation, within the Department of Research, Development, Experiments, and Initiatives in the Ministry of Education.
In another outreach venture aiming to bridge academic knowledge – on problems and successes of leadership development – to the authentic needs of practitioners in the field, I evaluated-researched an innovative leadership program: the New York Principals’ Development Program (funded by the UJA Federation of New York). The New York Jewish day school (JDS) world lacks a strong culture of professional development, mainly because of intense competition among schools. As talented JDS educators work in isolation from the broader spectrum of the professional community, there is a growing need for a systematic and effective leadership program in which current and prospective leaders can learn and work cooperatively. This leadership preparation program for New York JDSs allowed me to collaborate with urban school leaders working in an extremely turbulent environment and afforded me close familiarity with the particular challenges facing educational systems in the United States.