“Great venue”

“So many people”

“Too many talks to choose from”

“What a lot of space”

“Excellent sessions”

“Delicious ice-cream”

“Where’s the coffee?”

“Amazing buzz”

These are just some of the many comments heard or read at the recent ETAI International conference. For the first time, this conference was held outside Jerusalem, due to both availability of suitable venues and budget restrictions. The Ashkelon Conference Center on the campus of the Academic College of Ashkelon was chosen, and no one regretted the decision. Being outside Jerusalem, in the south of the country, did not negatively affect the number of participants, and to many, it gave a holiday feel to the proceedings, being close to the beautiful beaches of the Mediterranean sea.

The venue was near perfect with auditoriums, lecture rooms and a wonderful exhibition space, and it will be hard to follow on from this spectacular campus. However, we will follow it, because, as I am sure you are aware, ETAI keeps going. There are many events being planned for this coming year. There will be conferences in the winter, spring and summer, as well as mini conferences and other events throughout the year in several locations. And the northern region has not been forgotten as the next ETAI event is the “Back to School” conference in Nahalal on Tuesday, 23 August 2016.

It is generally accepted all over the world that teachers do not become teachers for the money. They become teachers for the opportunity to educate and influence future generations, and I am sure this is true of English teachers here in Israel. But, the money does help! This year, with the dedicated hard work of several people, we managed to get the international conference accepted as part of the professional development obligation for all levels of the school system and many signed up for this 30 hour hishtalmut. This is just part of our efforts regarding gmul. We hope to offer a package deal where English teachers will be able to choose to attend different ETAI conferences and events to make up the required 30 hours. It does involve participation and commitment on your part, as it should, but all ETAI events contribute to the professional development that helps you realise your potential as English language teachers.

Looking forward to seeing you all at future ETAI events.

With best wishes for a great summer with relaxation and enjoyment so you will be ready to start a new academic year with enthusiasm and excitement.

Susan Bedein

ETAI Chair