Israel Education: Selected Resources
There are a lot (i.e., tons) of digital resources out there on Israel and on Israel’s 70th from a myriad of viewpoints, agendas, and political persuasions. We offer a small sample of some that we find thought-provoking and worth exploring. We look forward to hearing your feedback at resourceguides@JewishEdProject.org.
Things to make you think...
November 1, 2018 | Dr. David Bryfman | The Times of Israel
"To truly understand the learner of today is to at least understand the sociology of this younger generation. Whether one is referring to the non-Orthodox Jewish Americans of Generations X, Y, or Z (and many orthodox Jews, as well), the data are clear and cannot be ignored. "
April 26, 2018 | Dr. David Bryfman | JTA - Jeducation World
"As Jewish educators we thrive on moments when popular culture and Jewish practice intersect. These moments provide us with launching pads to start any number of conversations with an inbuilt resonance for our youth – if the topic is good enough for our pop cultural icons to interact with it, then certainly I can engage in that conversation. As difficult as some of these conversations might be, we cannot and should not avoid them."
- How does this video make you feel… hopeful? annoyed?
- Does it capture the spirit of Israel today or is it simplistic?
- What types of questions could you ask your students before or after watching it… What surprised you? Who did you notice in the crowd? Who was missing?
- If you could ask all of the participants in the video one question, what would it be?
Lessons from Center for Israel Education (CIE)
CIE’s mission is to educate broadly about modern Israel. Many of the learning materials here were created by CIE staff, while others were submitted by interested educators who attended previous CIE workshops.
Index by subject and grade
The learning materials have been sorted by grade level and general topic area. Some items may appear in more than one subject or age area.
Alphabetical listing of all resources
Includes a short description. Grade/levels do not appear in the list but are available in the actual lessons.
Discussion Guides and Resources from the iCenter
The iCenter has curricula, programs, and resources, including specialized collections for camps and day schools, plus their Aleph-Bet of Israel Education, which is organized into 12 areas of focus. Their work is “rooted in the beliefs of the centrality of the learner, trusting the educational process, and a commitment to both a loving and transparent Israel education.” A new section of their website, ISRAEL AT 70, has a special and diverse collection of their resources that offer "opportunities to explore Israel Education." We've highlighted two, in particular, which you can access from this collection (among others):
Approaching Conflicts: Contexts, Perspectives, and Values in Israel Education
A Toolkit for helping educators and learners engage sensitive material with more confidence, ask more questions and challenge assumptions for the purpose of a strong and meaningful relationship with Israel.
Israel Democracy Institute Curriculum (7 modules)
For the Sake of Justice: Understanding Israel Through its Supreme Court
Developed in partnership with the Israel Democracy Institute, this curriculum uses supreme court cases in the United States and Israel to explore issues of civic responsibility, social justice, and human dignity.
Resources from Makom
Makom: Israel. In Real Life, is the Education Lab of The Jewish Agency in Jerusalem and works to empower educators, activists, arts, and community leaders across the spectrum to ask tough questions and articulate compelling visions, and provides content and tools to craft honest programming. Makom has extensive collections of resources and lessons including full curricula for teens and adults (that you should really explore).
Social Justice: The Hope – Israeli NGOs
Of late, some of Israel’s NGOs have come under attack. This set of lessons examines 9 different Non-Governmental Organizations (not for profits) in 2012 that serve/d Israeli society and the field of Jewish Service Learning. You can explore them one at a time or divide up students into groups that examine one or two. What problems are they trying to solve? Are these problems present in the United States? What do they tell you about Israel and about Israelis?
- Arts Resources
Israeli writing, visual art, and music are full of hints, comments, and colors of modern-day Israel and, and one of the sections of Makom’s website is dedicated to them. Here are two musically oriented and different takes on teaching about Israel and Israelis.
Makom Music Blogs
The Makom Music Blogs have an extensive array of music with guided lessons, recordings, videos and translations (in most cases). Old Songs Renewed is a rich and deep dive into five different songs that you should definitely check out. Here, though, we are focusing on the ever-popular and irreverent HaDag Nachash band that you’ll find in several entries of Makom’s Music Blogs (mixed among other important and very different artists). Look for three new song translations (at the top of the page), the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and three songs on corruption (in the middle of the page), and finally Powerpoints of many of their lyrics (at the bottom)
This section focuses on four Israeli artists - Alma Zohar, Shay Charka, Ehud Banai and Kobi Oz. The Kobi Oz section is the most extensive including videos with subtitles and full transcripts in Hebrew and English translations of 11 songs on his “Mizmorei Nevuchim – Psalms for the Perplexed” album. It also includes an interview with links to some of his previous recordings with Teapacks.
As much as we love the Kobi collection as an educational resource to explore Israel culture, we can’t resist showcasing one of the three videos in Ehud Banai’s section, given that it hits so close to home.