Yom Ha'atzmaut Special Edition - April 2014
"How was your Seder?" I asked an old friend last week.
"It was interesting," he reported. "It's been a struggle to get my (young adult) kids engaged. This year I noticed that my kids who have been to Israel were far more engaged in the Seder than those who hadn't made the trip. And that's funny because their Israel experiences had nothing to do with Passover ..."
With Passover in the rear-view mirror, and Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) approaching, my friend's comments could not have been more timely. He experienced what the data tell us - connection with Israel is a critical component of American Jewish identity. Israel education matters less because Israel needs our advocacy but more because we need Israel to inform a full and rich Jewish life.
That is why our goal for Israel education is to instill in each learner a meaningful and personal connection with Israel. Now is a convenient and appropriate time to focus on Israel. But as regular subscribers to this newsletter know, our team of master educators led by Ilan Vitemberg and Vavi Toran work every day of the year to help educators and their students create an important place for Israel in students' hearts and minds.
In this Independence Day issue of our newsletter:
We feature an exciting new Israel curriculum. Using its Declaration of Independence as a foundation, we are partnering with five supplemental schools and four Jewish day schools to pilot "Tractate: Independence
We are proud to announce a new installment of our Classic Israeli Bookshelf featuring beloved Israeli children's stories translated and adapted for American children. "Mitz Petel" ("Raspberry Juice") will premiere as a puppet show at the Israel Independence Day Celebration at the Oshman Family JCC on May 6.
We also offer resources for Yom Ha'zikaron (Israel's Remembrance Day), a futuristic and visual prediction for Israel@100, our popular Poster Tales exhibit and other educational materials and ideas to enhance Israel Education in your programs all year round.
We hope that you find these helpful as you plan celebrations and explorations of this important time in the Jewish calendar and encourage you to forward this mail to your colleagues and staff.
We wish you a meaningful Yom Ha'zikaron and a joyous Yom Ha'atzmaut!
CEO, Jewish LearningWorks
Yom Ha'zikaron - Israel's Remembrance Day
Soon We Will Become a Song
Yom Ha'zikaron, which is commemorated this year on May 5th, is Israel's Remembrance Day. It is marked every year on the fourth of Iyar and precedes Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) by one day. The day is dedicated to commemorating the country's soldiers and members of security forces, the memory of the fallen from the pre-state undergrounds, and to victims of terrorism.
Yom Ha'zikaron was decreed by law in 1963, but the practice of commemorating the fallen on this day started in 1951 to mark the connection between Independence Day and the people who died to achieve and maintain this independence.
The IDF (Israel Defence Forces) radio station Galey Tzahal found a creative way to remember some of the fallen. Twelve years ago, as part of the commemorations on Yom Ha'zikaron, the radio station initiated a musical project named "Soon We Will Become a Song" (Od me'at nahafoch le'shir) in which prominent Israeli musicians volunteer to write scores for and perform songs written by soldiers who fell in the line of duty. Read More
Idan Reichel with a song by Reuven Politi
The poem "Mom, Dad and All the Rest" was written by 18 year old Reuven Politi, a sergeant who fell in the Yom Kippur War in October 1973, a few weeks after he wrote the poem. He was a fighter in the Egoz reconnaissance platoon, which went out on mission in the Golan Heights that day. He replaced a soldier friend who was delayed in getting to his platoon.
We are no heroes
Our work is hard
The sun will set
Darkness will descend
Then, with our clothes on, we will rest in bed
Yes, Mom, it's important, it's hard and it's terrible
|The Church Of Wisdom with a song by Erez Shtark |
Erez Shtark, from Kiryat Ata, was 21 when he and 72 others were killed on the evening of February 4, 1997 in "Ason Hamasokim," a crash between two helicopters in northern Israel.
Nothing's gonna hurt me, nothing
Not a woman nor a terrorist's bullet, nothing
That's what I swore to my brother, my sister, my parents
And I cried through the nights and worried during the days
'Cause I was scared that something will hurt my parents
And my father's voice has been echoing in my head for years:
If something is gonna happen to you
There's no point to my life
There's no reason for tomorrow.
If you are standing here over me
I guess I have not fulfilled my promise
I swear on my life.
Below are videos in Hebrew featured on Israeli TV Chanel 2, including interviews with family members and friends:
Yoni Bloch sings a song by Arik Karpental who fell in 1994 to an attack by terrorists
Yehuda Poliker sings a song by Avner Ditel who fell in the Yom Kippur War in 1973
Gidi Gov sings a song by Nadav Harari who fell in the Suez Canal in the Yom Kippur War 1973
Eyal Golan sings a song by Eldad Regev who was abducted by Hezbollah members along with Ehud Goldwasser in 2006. In 2008 their remains were brought to Israel as part of a prisoners' exchange.
Yom Ha'zikaron Resources
Yom Ha'zikaron - Degrees of Separation - lesson plan for teens from Makom
Red Flowers to Remember You By from the iCenter
Makom: The Price -Yom Ha'zikaron and the Helicopter Disaster from Makom
Israel and the Fallen Soldier - lesson plan from The Goodman Camping Initiative for Modern Israel History
Yom Ha'zikaron - Israel's Memorial Day from My Jewish Learning
Israel Education Initiative Newsletter - April 2013
A New Curriculum
Tractate Independence is a collaborative effort between Jewish LearningWorks and the Jerusalem-based organization Rabbis for Human Rights.
Tractate Independence takes a Talmudic approach to the study of Israel's Declaration of Independence. It explores critical issues facing Israeli society through the lens of Jewish history and literature. The curriculum challenges the learner to discover the multifaceted reality of Israel in the context of its founding vision.
The educational program is comprised of two booklets: Text Study Pages and Lesson Plans. The program focuses on two paragraphs in the Declaration: The first paragraph and the thirteenth paragraph and examines them through different lenses.
Tractate Independence Sample Lessons
Intended for middle and high school students, this curriculum sample hones in on two lenses:
Kam - Arose
The first line in the Declaration states:
"The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people."
And in another translation:
"In the Land of Israel the Jewish people came into being."
This lesson examine the meaning of the Hebrew verb kam used in the first line of Israel's Declaration of Independence. Though the official translation is "birthplace" and the Independence Hall's translation is "came into being," the word has a wealth of meanings. Through sources ranging from the Biblical to the contemporary, students are encouraged to explore the connection between the Jewish people and its land.
Dror/Hofesh/Herut - Liberty
Paragraph thirteenth of the Declaration reads:
"The State of Israel...will be based on freedom...as envisaged by the prophets of Israel".
This lesson explores the different meanings of freedom and its synonyms. A variety of texts from the Torah and prophets, to rabbinic, medieval and modern commentaries, legal covenants and poetry provide an opportunity to explore the value of freedom and its limitations.
Sample pages and lesson plans
Declaration of Independence Resources
|Peace for us as well|
Poster by Eshchar Zichlinski
Israel @ 100
Poster Design Competition
Creatives in collaboration with Habetzefer, Israel's Advertising Agencies Academy, launched a poster design competition for Israel's 100th anniversary.
That's right! Advertising designers were asked to use their imagination and project their vision of Israel in 34 years from today. So how did Israel fare in their view? Some saw a rise in religious orthodoxy, some visually commented on the region's failures to achieve peace, but we were happy to see that there were many optimistic predictions. 225 entries were submitted and judged by the public on Creatives' web site. The 20 finalists will be exhibited at Dizengoff Center for two weeks starting on May 1st.
What would your prediction or vision be for Israel @ 100?
All final candidates
Article in Israel Ha'yom (Israel Today) about the competition (in Hebrew)
|Puppeteers Olson and Vitemberg with Lion and Giraffe |
New Puppet Show
Israel Education Initiative, in collaboration with Up A Tree Puppetry are proud to present another beloved Israeli story, the second installment in our project of creating the "Classic Israeli Bookshelf."
Mitz Petel's World premiere will take place on May 6th, as a part of "Made in Israel" - Yom Ha'atzmaut celebration at the Palo Alto JCC.
The show is suitable for kids ages 2-8 and is available in both English and Hebrew.
Hand made puppets and set by Peter Olson.
An educational program to accompany the show will be available next school year. Stay tuned!!
Israeli Society Through Literature with Rachel Korazim
Monday, April 28, 7:00 - 8:30pm
JCC, San Francisco
Exhibition: Wheat is Wheat is Wheat
April 12 - June 15
Israeli artist and designer Peddy Mergui's exhibition exploring design and ethics.
Wednesday, May 7, 7:00 - 9:00pm
Peddy Mergui discusses his work
The Museum of Craft and Design, San Francisco
Yom Ha'zikaron Memorial service
Hear David Grossman speak about his book, "Falling Out of Time", an allegorical novel about a man in mourning
Friday, May 9, 7:00 pm
JCC, San Francisco
Exhibit: Arthur Szyk and the Art of the Haggadah
February 13-June 29, 2014
Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco
Exhibit: Moments of Presence with My Beloved by YoHana Bat Adam
March 4-May 29
Reception: Sunday, March 9, 6:30-8:30 PM
Palo Alto JCC
YoHana Bat Adam's art touches the realm of the mysterious phenomenon we call God. YoHana uses her art as a platform to make viewers more aware of human spirituality and potential.
To Build and Be Build: Kibbutz History
Ongoing until July 2014
Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco
More local Israeli events on Federation Community Calendar
More local Israel related events on Consulate site
Contact Jewish LearningWorks'
Israel Education Initiative Team: