KANSAS CITY (Apr. 4)
An innovative Israeli educational program that helps disadvantaged mothers provide their preschool-aged children with learning materials has recently expanded to the United States, Turkey, Chile and Bophuthatswana.
Prof. Chaim Adler, director of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) Research Institute for Innovation in Education at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, addressed a session at the 36th national convention of the NCJW and thanked the organization for its support of the program. Some 1,000 women delegates from across the United States attended the convention here a week ago.
Besides being involved with the Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youth (HIPPY), Adler has recently worked on the absorption of Ethiopian Jews in Israel. He pointed out that the recent absorption of Ethiopian Jews has proved to be one of the most challenging tasks to face Israeli society since the 1950′s when the Jewish State absorbed a massive immigration from various countries around the world.
“Israel is the only country in the world that is in the midst of a very severe economic crisis but is still willing to bring more people in,” Adler said.
ROLE OF THE HIPPY PROGRAM
The HIPPY program in which disadvantaged mothers are trained to teach their 4-to-6-year old children skills for school success, will be vital for the education of Jewish children from Ethiopia and their parents, Adler said.
“In the HIPPY program we meet with mothers every second week on a one-to-one basis,” he said. “On weeks that volunteers don’t see each mother personally, about eight to 10 mothers get together for a group meeting. We stress educational enrichment activities for mothers who are generally from a low educational background.”
The program is three years in duration and works with 4-, 5- and 6-year-old children to given them an additional head start. Materials, many of which are workbooks, are now translated into English, Spanish, Turkish and French. The HIPPY program has working branches in Tulsa, Okla. and in Richmond, Va. Adler said a branch in Glendale, Ariz. will be initiated soon.