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Hakesher: The USY/Kadima Advisor Newsletter

Yom Hazikaron/Yom Ha'ztzmaut 5771

In This Issue
From Loss...Remembering Israel's Heroes
To Life! Celebrating Israel's Independence
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April/May 2011

Let's commemorate and celebrate! This issue of Hakesher: The USY/Kadima Advisor Newsletter, will focus on programming for both Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha'atzmaut. Whether you are looking for a program to run with your Hebrew High class, need something for USYers to do in the synagogue-wide Yom Hazikaron ceremony, or want to run an Israel-themed program as one of your final programs in May, look no further! This issue of Hakesher will provide you with links to many different resources available on-line and from our youth department program files. If you're looking for something not found here, please email Amy Dorsch at or USY Central Shlicha, Avital Elfant at
From Loss...
Yom HazikaronYom Hazikaron: Commemorating Israel's Fallen Soldiers
From November 1947-today, 21,262 Israelis have fallen for the sake of Israel. This does not include victims of terror, but rather those who lost their lives in defense of the State. Like most Jewish calendar events, we celebration intermingles with memory and loss. Before we celebrate, we commemorate their sacrfice for the Jewish State and Jewish people. Click on the files below for ideas to honor Israel's fallen..

  • Courtesy of Nativ, available are a number of multi-media presentations for Yom Hazikaron. Email Amy Dorsch or Avital Elfant for the multi-media files, including a slideshow and video presentations. Videos are also obviously searchable on Youtube. Also available:

*any song played in the Nativ program files can be printed at 

To Life! Celebrating Israel's Independence

Israel is bornCelebrate one of the greatest events in Jewish history with these prorgam ideas: 


1. In-Depth Israel Discussion programs For Teens (see more in other sections):

  • USCJ Yom Ha'atzmaut Programs
  • Two free Israeli Films through the AviChai Foundation
  • American Zionist Movement (AZM) Israeli Film Guide
  • Two dramatizations of current issues in Zionism today, courtesy of MERCAZ, the American Zionist arm of the Conservative movement- "Across the Aisle" and "If You Will It". Both include discussion questions and are wonderful resources for a more lengthy program/discussion.
  • Also courtesy of MERCAZ: Israel Study SourcesIsrael Social Action Projects, Israel at 60 programs that are still relevant for Israel at 63.

2. For Hebrew High teachers, Education Directors, and anyone else planning an Israel Education Session:

  • *Recommended* Melitz Israel at 60 Education toolkit.
  • Sites for Israel Art. For an Israeli Art program outline, email Amy Dorsch.
  • Israeli society through photography: Google Image the work of photographer Alex Levac for humorous, ironic and meaningful images of daily life in Israel- a great tool to use to discuss Israeli identity, the Jewish character of the state and issues in Israel.
  • *Recommended* Jewish Agency for Israel Department for Zionist Education pe'ulot on Zionism and Israel, ready to use.
  • Classic Hebrew songs. For prorgam outlines on Israeli music, both classic and current, email Amy Dorsch.
  • Israeli dance, step-by-step.
  • Israel Music and Film Guide
  • *Recommended* Fantastic pe'ulot covering the Roots of Zionism, Founding of the State of Israel, Israeli culture, Dilemmas of the Israeli solider, Jerusalem in Jewish identity and more (courtesy of National Ramah Commission Ramah Israel Leadership Initiatives, a program supported by a grant from the Legacy Heritage Fund).
  • Israel21c- Israel beyond the conflict- a great site reporting current news in Israel in areas of people, culture, technology, health, sports and more.

3. Yom Ha'atzmaut on Youtube:

Youtube #1

Youtube #2- Flag and Independence

Youtube #3- Cool Facts

Youtube #4- Israel and Environmental Technology


4. Sample Israel Educational Programs from USY

  • Dilemmas in Making Aliyah
  • Blessings for Israel
  • Israel-Diaspora Relationship Quotes (program available from Amy Dorsch)
  • Various Images of the Israeli flag, great for discussion or an art activity.
  • Discuss the shaping of Israeli society through Classic Songs of Israel.
  • Israel Music Discussion Guide for Contemporary Israeli Music
  • Israel in American Eyes
  • Yom Ha'atzmaut Seder
  • Issues in Zionism Today: Religious Pluralism and Masorti Advocacy discussion.
  • Israeli Identity through Food- program that explores the ethnic diversity of Israel through a Powerpoint and session outline. Email Amy Dorsch for this program.
  • Sample pages from USY's latest Israel sourcebook Ayin L'Tzyon: Looking Toward Zion, available through USCJ Book Service. *Lesson plans available with book purchase.

5. Sof, sof...(finally), Specific Israel Programs for USY!

  • Click here for the top Israel programs from USY International Chapter of the Year Nominees.
  • USY Program ideas from Yom Hazikaton and Yom Ha'atzmaut 5770/2010.

Some more great ideas to celebrate Israel:

  • Click here to check out a great progam idea from Herzl Ner Tamid (Mercer Island, WA), USY International Chapter of the Year 2010.
  • Fomer IDF soldier as speaker- If there is a Israeli in your community, who is willing to speak about his/her army experience, have him/her speak about life as an Israeli teen, compared to life as an American teen. Email Amy Dorsch for a Powerpoint on Israeli Teen Culture. The program aims to help American teens make conenctions with teens in Israel, while understanding one of the major distinctions.
  • Boger Nativ (Nativ Alum) - run a program on what life is like living in Israel through the eyes of a Nativ alum (you can include the aforementioned Powerpoint of Israeli Teen Culture, available through Amy Dorsch, as well as the Nativ promo video).
  • Party Israel style- Celebrate the day as Israelis do with BBQ, music, shuk of Israeli goods, Israeli dancing.
  • Israel on Youtube- commercials, movie clips, music (see above, as well as search on Youtube for commercials of Israel such as Moses GPS or McShwarma Kosher McDonalds).
  • Israel photography exhibit/Images of Israeli Life- click here for tons of Israel images or again, Google Image 'Alex Levac' for some halarious and provocative images of daily life in the Jewish state. *Host an Israeli photograph exhibit if you have USY Pilgrimage alumni and offer a contest to vote on the photograph that best captures the essence of the Jewish state.
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Teaching Israel beyond Yom Ha'atzmaut? Check out USY Publications brochure for two fantastic sourcebooks with activities on teaching Israel: Ayin L'tzyon (sample pages) and Celebrating Israel In Our Lives, both available through USCJ Book Service.  


Amy Dorsch, USY Education Coordinator and Avital Elfant, USY Central Shlicha



The best way to connect with to be there.

Think your Yom Ha'atzmaut program will help connect USYers to Israel? How about a plane ticket/Israel Experience? It is not too late to get your USYers to go to Israel this summer on Israel Pilgrimage. For more information on program options, click here. 

*NEW* Go and Give: Do hands on community service in Israel on USY's newest Israel program: 

L'Takayn Olam

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Offer Expires: Summer 2011