Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Yerushalayim Comes To Rosh HaAyin

Meital Chori, Naamah Kusten, and Tamar Cohen
Third-Year Students, Social-Communal Education Department
In honor of Yom Yerushalayim, the junior high school students at Ulpanat Zevulun in Rosh HaAyin went on a magical “journey” to Yerushalayim. This very special program was organized by second- and third-year students from Orot Israel College’s social-communal education department.

Several days before Yom Yerushalayim, the second-year students delivered a shiur – which was prepared by the third-year students – entitled, “The Importance of Yerushalayim.” The shiur focused on questions, such as: Why do we have Yom Yerushalayim but not Yom Tel Aviv? What are the sources of Yerushalayim’s sanctity for the Jewish people? What does Yerushalayim mean to me?

Then, on Yom Yerushalayim itself, the seventh, eighth, and ninth graders took part in an entertaining treasure hunt, run by the Orot students. Each of the Ulpanat Zevulun girls had to stop at six different stations, where they solved secret codes; learned about Yerushalayim’s many names; studied psukim from the Tanach which pertain to Yerushalayim; watched a slide show; identified Yerushalayim’s neighborhoods and gates; “visited” the Machaneh Yehudah shuk; and heard stories about many of Yerushalayim’s famous residents.

The girls had a wonderful time uncovering many of Yerushalayim’s fascinating secrets.

“To Lie In Your Shadow, Carmel”

Na'ama Bindiger,
Land of Israel studies department

“The mountain is green throughout the year.
I still dream and ask
To breathe your winds as at first,
To lie in your shadow, Carmel.”

With songwriter Yoram Taharlev’s beautiful words on our lips, Orot Israel College headed out on a tiyul of Nachal Rakefet in the Carmel on 14 Iyar (May 18). As we hiked the lovely trail, we discussed geography, history, and current events. And a surprise awaited us…

Our tiyul to Nachal Rakefet was part of Orot’s series of trips - each one to a different location and with a different theme. The ultimate goal is to show the students – the teachers of the future – how tiyulim can be a valuable tool for forging an unbreakable bond with Eretz Yisrael.

We were privileged to have students from Orot’s Land of Israel studies department as our guides, and they taught us about the Carmel’s unique topography, geology, and botany – including the lush Mediterranean vegetation, which covers its slopes and keeps the mountain “green throughout the year.”

Our excellent guides also focused on the human element. They told us about Jewish settlement in the region, and as we overlooked Daliat-El-Carmel, a Druze village, we heard about the Druze, their religion, and their warm ties with the State of Israel. In addition, we spoke at length about this past Chanukah’s devastating forest fire – its deadly course and the slow rehabilitation process. And lastly, we concentrated on Eliyahu HaNavi’s famous clash with the nevi’ei haBaal on the Carmel, which apparently took place at Muchrakah – our final stop.

During our hike, we also had an unexpected encounter with the animal kingdom: an “attack” of pine processionary caterpillars! Apparently, we had arrived just before the pupation period, and the caterpillars were everywhere – climbing on our skirts, and falling from the trees onto our knapsacks. An unforgettable experience… and thanks to the caterpillars, we all walked much faster than usual…

But without a doubt, the highlight of our trip was the gorgeous scenery and the delightfully-pastoral trail.

News from Orot Israel College’s Computing Center

Rachel Evers,
Chief Information Officer
To our great delight, there have been a number of exciting new developments here at Orot Israel College. The administration recently devoted considerable resources to improving and upgrading the computing equipment, and as a result, Orot’s students and faculty – on both the Elkana and Rechovot campuses – now have access to the cutting-edge technology necessary for tomorrow’s teachers.

Rechovot Campus
Computer lab
Computer Lab A, which was completely overhauled, serves the continuing education students as well as the Masters’ degree candidates. New workstations and advanced software were installed:
• A graphics software package, including Photoshop, Flash, Acrobat 9 and more
• Video editing software
• Music editing software
• Visual Studio – for the computer science department
• Control software for teachers, with an option to broadcast video files

Wireless environment
Throughout the campus, newly installed high-speed endpoints allow students and faculty members to connect their laptops to the Internet via our secure wireless network.

Elkana Campus

Language lab
A new language lab, with state-of-the-art computers and a high-speed communications network, lets students practice their English with special software, such as:
• Babylon online dictionary
• Text-to-speech software
• A pronunciation program, which allows users to record themselves
• Control software for teachers, with an option to broadcast video files
In addition, this lab contains special choreography and practice software for the dance department.

Projection rooms
Three new projection rooms were added, and new software – which controls all the audio-visual equipment for the user’s convenience - was installed.

Two new laptops were purchased to be used with our portable projectors.

Dance studio
A professional sound system, a projection system, a video/DVD player, a state-of-the-art computer, and sound editing software were all installed in Dance Studio B.

The auditorium now contains a sophisticated sound system, a network of speakers, two mixers, and a powerful new projector. In addition, the podium was upgraded, and a new control station – including two computers, a touch screen, and a control panel for the digital mixer – was installed in the upper control room. This control station manages the auditorium’s three computers, lights, electronic screen, projector, and sound system.

Computers and monitors
The student computers on the first floor of the library were upgraded, and all of the library’s computer monitors were replaced with thin LCD monitors. Also, new student computers were installed in the pedagogic center.

Windows 7
We have begun migrating all of our newer computers over to the Windows 7 operating system.

The optical fiber network - which connects every building on campus to the servers in the computing center – was upgraded and expanded, in order to allow for increased traffic, in terms of both speed and volume, on our computer network. In addition, we purchased new switches for further upgrades.

An integrated college
As part of our continued efforts to connect Orot Israel College’s two campuses, the accounting software used by the Elkana and Rechovot campuses has been fully integrated. Also, the mail server, which is located on the Elkana campus, now serves both campuses.

Upcoming developments
Our future plans include launching a new website for the two campuses and installing a wireless network on the Elkana campus.

We hope to keep you updated as we continue to meet our students’ technological needs.