Updated: Apr 5
by Jody Goldstein
The first step necessary in developing a partnership between individuals or groups is having the ability to communicate with one another. Our Partnership2Gether consortium consists of sixteen communities within three countries: Israel, Budapest, and the United States. While many languages may be spoken within our regions, the predominant ones are Hebrew, English, Arabic, and Hungarian. To be able to work together, we need to be able to speak with each other.
While attending the Partnership Discovery Trip, I spoke about developing a program to teach English to people in the Western Galilee. It would be a NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) program focused on teaching those who wanted, but did not have the opportunity, to learn. I imagined a program in a community center or coffee shop where Arab and Jewish children (and adults) would have the ability to study and practice English together. Creating a language-learning community would form a partnership within our Partnership. When Covid-19 eliminated the ability for me to travel to the Western Galilee to develop the program, the program rapidly shifted to one that would take place over Zoom, and “Café Anglit+” was born.
A little background about me: I am a long time educator with thirty-five years of experience developing and providing Special Education services for children in the Buffalo Public Schools. During my last year of full-time employment, I studied for and received a second Master’s Degree in TESL/TEFL (Teaching English as a Second, or Foreign, Language). My life plan was to combine my love for travel and my love for teaching into a post-retirement life of traveling around the world and obtaining short-term English teaching positions. Then, on the Partnership Discovery Trip, I fell in love with the Western Galilee, and wanted to focus my English teaching in that area. I wanted to develop a program that would build and strengthen ties to people within different communities, with different lifestyles, and with different belief systems.