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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 13, 2004

MEDIA ADVISORY: Top Israeli Educators On Campus Thursday

Three top educators from Israel, including the director general of the Israel Ministry of Education, will be visiting the University of Iowa College of Education's Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development Thursday, Oct. 14, and will also be available for media interviews upon request.

Meeting with Center Director Nicholas Colangelo and Associate Director Susan Assouline will be Ronit Tirosh, director general of the Israel Ministry of Education; Hezki Arieli, director general of the Society for Excellence Through Education, an Israeli non-profit organization that is responsible for the Israel Arts and Science Academy; and Rami Sulimani, a senior executive of the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) of Israel. The JDC is one of the most famous rescue organizations funded by the Jewish community and whose activities cover the globe. In Israel the JDC is concerned with immigration, education and outreach to the disadvantaged communities.

To arrange an interview, contact the Belin-Blank Center at (319) 335-6148.

The visit is related to the "Iowa and Israel: Partners in Excellence (Iowa Excellence)" program, a partnership created by the Belin-Blank Center in 2003 with a federal grant from Funds for the Improvement of Education. The Iowa Excellence program is an enrichment program in mathematics and science for middle schools students that has been implemented in five rural districts in Iowa with the primary goal being to engage students in challenging curriculum so that their interest is sustained through high school, where they will be able to take advanced placement classes.

Taking advanced placement classes in high school impacts a student's success in college. Rural students do not take advanced placement classes in high school at the same rate as students from suburban high schools.

The curriculum that is used in Iowa Excellence comes from Jerusalem and was developed at the Israel Arts and Science Academy, a residential public high school in Israel. The Belin-Blank Center has a partnership with the Israel Arts and Science Academy.

Tirosh, Arieli and Sulimani will meet with Belin-Blank officials Thursday to discuss opportunities for enhancing that partnerships.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Media: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007,