Meet Eden, Adi, Ariel and Mark!
At Choshen High School in Jerusalem, they pride themselves on teaching their students what is really important in life. Choshen is a vocational school whose teaching style is tailored to each student, and is based on projects that develop curiosity and allows students to express themselves. They teach values of responsibility, friendship, caring and social involvement. Most of the students came to the school after failing to thrive in more traditional school environments.
Eden Tenenbaum-Stern is an educator at Choshen High School. She lives in the Dror Israel’s Educators’ Kibbutz in Jerusalem. Eden grew up in Givatayim, a suburb of Tel Aviv.
“Choshen takes in students from Jerusalem and from areas around Jerusalem as well. Here, we want to create a good framework for Jerusalem youth, a place to grow up, meet new friends and learn about the working world. We also strive to connect the school with the surrounding community, whether it is in multi-year partnership projects (like with the local recording studios) or even with the nursing home close to the school.”
The school’s vocational tracks are sound engineering, photography, cooking and cosmetics. The school has 7 classes with about 20 students per class. The smaller than average class sizes enable the educators to develop a personal connection with each student.
The school provides the students with an atmosphere and relationships that give them an experience of repairing wounds they may have from previous schools they attended. “Sometimes it’s not even their previous schools, but the homes they come from,” says Eden. “And sometimes the home is great, they just have an emotional problem. Choshen gives them a quiet setting and a good home.”
“It doesn’t just give the students a home, it gives me one too,” Eden continued. “It gives me a place to put my passions to work, the things that excite me. I love the students and mentoring and the school is the place to share my dreams.”
Eden introduced us to three of her students:
Mark Kislyov lives in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Zeev with his mother, big brother and little sister. He was born in Russia. “Choshen is a small school that treats each student the way they need, taking into account difficulties and adversity. My previous school was a large ‘normal’ high school - no personal attention at all. Choshen helps me feel that there is nothing wrong with me and that I can learn and succeed despite the difficulties and problems I have.”
“I love my teachers - they're champions!” said Mark, “They always think about what I need and what is best for me, in and out of school. I’m pretty new to Choshen and the fact that I’m here is exciting.”
Ariel Ben Arush lives in Moshav Bar Giora with his mother and two sisters. “I like the atmosphere here at Choshen and learning my vocation. I chose to come here because of the warm atmosphere. It is so fun to come to school and see all my friends. I feel like my teachers take care of me and teach me properly. I like spending time with them.”
Adi Shazu lives in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Katamon. “I love my teachers and classmates,” she said. “I wanted to try a vocational school and develop new skills. I got interested in photography and learned a lot about it. I have a lot of fun here and love my teachers Eden and Roei. They’re amazing. They really listen to us and what we need. Before I came here my grades were really bad and I wasn’t doing well. As soon as I came here, I felt uplifted and my grades improved. Today everything is a hundred percent better and I’m really proud of myself for changing.”