Yisrael Sheli Teacher's Guide

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1 Yisrael Sheli Teacher's Guide Joel Lurie Grishaver Torah aura productions

2 ISBN 10: ISBN 13: Copyright 2009 Torah Aura Productions. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means graphic, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Torah Aura Productions 4423 Fruitland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA (800) BE-Torah (800) (323) fax (323) Visit the Torah Aura website at Manufactured in United states

3 Table of Contents Introduction Chapter 1: Israel Chapter 2: The Negev Chapter 3: Sde Boker Chapter 4: Beersheva Chapter 5: Eilat Chapter 6: Masada Chapter 7: Ein Gedi Chapter 8: The Old City of Jerusalem Chapter 9: The Kotel Chapter 10: The New City of Jerusalem Chapter 11: Mount Herzl Chapter 12: The Knesset Chapter 13: Midrahov Chapter 16: The Jordan River Chapter 17: The Galil Chapter 18: Tsipori Chapter 19: T veria Chapter 20: Kibbutzim Chapter 21: Kinneret Chapter 22: Tzfat Chapter 23: Haifa Chapter 24: Zikhron Ya akov Chapter 25: Tel Aviv Chapter 26: Independence Hall Chapter 27: Kikar Rabin Chapter 28: Rehov Sheinkin Using the map and timeline Chapter 14: Yad Vashem Chapter 15: Modi in

4 4

5 Yisrael Sheli Teacher s Guide Joel Lurie Grishaver Yisrael Sheli: The Vision Yisrael Sheli is centered on the central goal that students who study this material (and other resources) will visit Israel. Teaching the real Israel is challenge enough. But we also deal with another problem: How do we make Israel a country thousands of miles away and a world apart from our North American Jewish selves engaging, interesting, and exciting for our students? For eight-year-old students, land of the Bible is not a selling point. Where the Rabbis who wrote the Talmud lived is worse. They don t know or admire halutzim. Any war where Israel was glorious and heroic dates back to the time of the Neanderthals. Only two things work: real people and compelling stories. Israel can no longer be taught as a place. There are too many adventure destinations out there to visit already. Gross national product is not interesting, and Israel is just another place on the map when compared to Nepal, Buenos Aires, and Monte Carlo. Two things build strong connection: stories and people. Israel has to feel like a place that belongs to you. We know that taking people to Israel usually does the job. It may be something in the falafel oil or the men and women in uniform that do the trick. In any case, it is some mystery factor that we try to replicate in our own pretend tours to Israel. But almost always something is missing: the fact that what we conjure is real and not pretend. Writing a note and placing it in a stacked-cardboard-box model Kotel just doesn t do it. This is not to say that we shouldn t take the model airplane ride, stamp the passport, find the ancient pot in the sandbox, and walk the masking tape snake path that leads to the falafel station. These are perfectly good activities. They should be done. But if we don t establish a three-dimensional reality for Israel, they come off as real as childish retellings of Bible stories. Reality can come through films, visitors, and artifacts. It comes through testimony and stories. But most of all it comes through a narrative that becomes part of our students lives. Most Israel teaching before high school involves some sort of a pretend trip to Israel. That makes developmental sense because history is not really developmentally appropriate. The question is, What is the nature of that visit? Simply put, is it postcards or moments? Postcards show you places and things, some come with captions, and mean much more to the person who has been there than to the person being shown. Moments dig into the heart. But how do you create a narrative? How do you create a moment? The truth is that an Israel curriculum must create Israel memories the same way an actual trip does. Mentioning that there are 5

6 dolphins in Eilat or that the Arab quarter has the Church of the Holy Sepulchre won t do. Yisrael Sheli is built out of three elements: THE STORY OF A HERO. We meet a hero of Israel. Together these heroes will tell the story of the Land of Israel, but the story is not told in order. Children between seven and twelve are in the Concrete Operational Stage, according to Jean Piaget, noted developmental psychologist. This means that chronological history is something that doesn t yet make any sense. We are interested in making Israel a place of stories, not in their understanding the progression of history. VISITING A PLACE. Next we go to a location connected to the person. Here we meet a place in Israel and come to understand why it is important. Geography is the organizing principle of this work, but our concern is a relationship between place and story. For example, we use Josephus to anchor Masada, but the story we use him to tell is that of the Zealots. Masada is connected to the fight for freedom. ACTIVITY: The final element in each chapter is an activity. Sometimes this activity focuses on the place, sometimes on the person, but always on the story. It helps to sum up the interaction with the place. A textbook is not as good as a trip. At best it is a simulated trip. We have already agreed that simulations aren t always effective. We have struggled to make the book much more than a collection of postcards (though it has great pictures); it s a series of moments. The first reading of the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, listening to Eleazar Ben Yair s final speech at Masada, and using desalinated water for agriculture in the Negev are a small part of our list. The Timeline and the Map The teaching of this book needs the teacher to do two things: have a large map of Israel in the room and set up a timeline around the room. The first activity for each chapter is to mark the position of the new location on the map and hang the new person on the timeline. Both of these will provide a context for the learning. We are not expecting students to understand the implications of the timeline or to remember who came before whom, but we are expecting them to know who lived around the same time as whom and who is really early and who is really late. Likewise, we don t expect students to be able to fill in a blank map and locate each of our places, but a map will give them a sense of the journey. This Teacher s Guide Makes the Class More Than the Book The job of teaching Yisrael Sheli is a lot more than just reading and discussing the book. The real job is using the book as a foundation on which you will weave a series of experiences. The learning experiences need to be dynamic and interactive, and this teacher s guide will map one route, embroidering the text and creating a series of moments that your students will recall fondly. Remember, the central purpose of this year is to build a connection between your students and Israel. You can do so with the stories that are involved, but you need to do so with the interactions and programs that you actualize in the course of this year. You can t just open a book and teach Israel. It takes planning, creativity, and commitment. Your job is to focus on the memories. You need to ask yourself, What moments will my students remember? What activities will build a connection to Israel that is dynamic enough that my students will want to go there? 6

7 introduction page 5 finding israel We begin the book with a map exercise that helps students locate Israel in the world. We are interested in teaching the big idea that the Middle East was the crossroads of the world and that Israel is in the middle of the Middle East. As part of the introduction your class should also establish what their ways their own lives are connected to Israel. big ideas Israel is our land. We are connected to Israel. Israel is in the middle of three continents: Africa, Asia, and Europe. The Middle East was the crossroads of the world. Israel is in the Middle East. activities 1. Set Induction: Globe 2. discussion: Our Connections to Israel 3. read the Text (page 5) 4. Map Activity (page 5) You know You Ve succeeded when students can define the words Yisrael Sheli. students can explain some of their connections to Israel. students can locate Israel on a globe or map. students have completed the map activity. students can explain the importance of Israel s location. lesson plan 1. Set Induction: Prepare for class by bringing in either a globe or a world map. 2. Start your lesson by having students find locations. Start with easy things like the United States, Africa, Italy, and Japan. Then get harder, with things like Hawaii, etc. Give lots of students a chance to be the finder. End the activity by inviting students to find Israel. 7

8 3. Discussion: Pass out the books. Establish that the name of the book is Yisrael Sheli and that this means My Israel. Ask: How is Israel your Israel? You may not get a lot of answers. Respond positively to all those who can answer the question. Don t worry about those who can t answer it at the moment we will spend a year working on it. Ask the following: Who has been to Israel? Who has family in Israel? Who owns something made in Israel? Who wants to visit Israel? Tell your students, We are going to spend a year visiting Israel and understanding our connection to Israel. 4. Reading the Text: Read the introductory page to your students. Use the map on the facing page to identify Africa, Asia, Europe, and Israel. 5. Map Activity: Have the students do the map activity. 6. When you go over the map, don t worry that the three lines don t perfectly cross Israel. Africa to Europe and Asia to Africa have to go directly through Israel and will make an X. The Asia to Europe goes further west, and the three form a Middle East triangle. The conclusion you draw: Lots of traffic went through or near Israel. People in Asia, Africa, and Europe had to go through Israel to get to one another. Israel was the crossroads of the known world in those days.. 8

9 ChapTer 1: israel pages 6 7 abraham and sarah Abraham and Sarah were the first Jews. God made a covenant with them. God promised to give them the Land of Israel. We are the children of Abraham and Sarah. In this chapter we connect the story of Abraham and Sarah to the geographic regions in the land of Israel. big ideas Abraham and sarah were the first Jews. God promised them and their descendents the Land of Israel. The Land of Israel has four major regions. activities 1. set Induction: What We Know about Abraham and sarah 2. read about Abraham and sarah 3. discuss Abraham s Feelings 4. Work on the Map You know You Ve succeeded when students can tell the story of Abraham and sarah. students can use Abraham and sarah to make their own connection to the Land of Israel. students can identify the four (five) geographic regions of the Land of Israel. lesson plan 0. Put Abraham and Sarah on your timeline. 1. Set Induction: What We Know about Abraham and Sarah. Start out by brainstorming everything we know about Abraham and sarah. Write the information on the board. 2. Reading about Abraham and Sarah. Have your students individually read the first section (page 6) of this text. Ask students to share facts that they learned. You will want to circle the major points that are already on the board and add the ones in the story. 9

10 3. Discussing Abraham s Feeling. The italic print at the bottom of page 6 is a series of discussion questions. They don t have right answers. The best answers will come from your students imagination. Here are the questions you will be discussing: Why do you think Abraham decided to go? Abraham left his home in Ur without asking God any questions. He didn t even know where he was going, but he went anyway. How do you think Abraham felt when God spoke to him? What do you think Abraham was thinking? Why did Abraham leave his home to go to a brand-new place? 4. Work on the Map (page 7). Have students break into hevrutot (dyads). Ask them to read the text under the headline The Land of Israel and then work on coloring in the right sections of the map. We have defined four sections, the Galil (the North), the Negev (the South), and the Jordan River Valley. This will leave one section in the middle of the map uncolored. For the most part these are the Judean Hills. If you want, you can color the area brown. 10

11 JaCob ChapTer 2: The negev pages 8 10 This chapter is about the connection between Jacob and the Negev. Jacob, who becomes Israel, is Abraham s grandson. While in actuality Jacob is primarily connected to Northern Israel, he starts out his life in the Negev, the South. big ideas Jacob s name, Israel, means one who struggles with God. We are called Israel because we are descendants of Jacob and because being Jewish is about struggling with God. Israel s pioneering spirit has caused Israelis to work hard to make the desert bloom. The pioneering spirit is a central part of the Israeli ethos. Makhtesh ramon is a really cool place to visit. activities 1. set Induction: reviewing Jacob 2. Meeting the Negev 3. Makhtesh ramon sidebar 4. Water Pipe Activity You know You Ve succeeded when students can explain Jacob s role in Jewish history. students can describe the negev. students can identify Makhtesh ramon. students can describe how Israel is making fresh water. lesson plan 0. Put Jacob on timeline. Mark the Negev on the map. 1. Set Induction: Use the board. Have students share things they know about Jacob and write them on the board. do your best to filter out wrong answers. Establish two things: a. Jacob is also Israel. b. Israel means One who struggles with God. 2. Meeting the Negev: Start by locating the Negev on a map of Israel. A good next step (if you can manage the technology) is the YouTube video NEGEV The awakening wilderness, ( 11

12 which is a combination 12 of claymation and action shots done by the Israel Ministry of Tourism. It is a little over eight minutes long. If you can t view the YouTube video, the text goes offer these ideas. Set students up for the video with the following questions: What does the Negev look like? What kinds of things can you do there? What would be your favorite thing to do in the Negev? Watch the video and then go over these questions. All of them will be easily answered by the video. 3. Makhtesh Ramon Sidebar: Look at the photo at the bottom right of page 9. Have students identify what they see in the photograph With careful observation that should notice a passage between two rock cliffs that then drops off in a large crater. The crater in the background is Makhtesh Ramon. Read the photo caption on Makhtesh Ramon. 4. Water Pipe Activity: If you haven t already used a video during this lesson, this YouTube video explains desalinization in under two minutes: Israel: Leading the World in Water Technology, If you need/want more background, check out this Wikipedia page: wikipedia.org/wiki/desalinisation. Read the introductory paragraph and then assign the activity. Give students time to work on it. Then appreciate the creativity of their solutions.

13 ChapTer 3: sde boker pages DaviD Ben Gurion david Ben Gurion is the George Washington of the state of Israel. Before Israel was a state, david Ben Gurion led the Jewish settlement in Palestine. When Israel became a state, Ben Gurion became its first prime minister. Eventually, when he retired, he (with his wife) went to a settlement in the negev, sde Boker. They are buried there. For more information ( gurion.html). big ideas As the founding father of the state of Israel, david Ben Gurion changed Jewish history. We should visit sde Boker because it is a beautiful place, and because going there helps us connect to david Ben Gurion. Sde Boker is proof of Israel s dedication to making the barren desert bloom, a challenge Ben Gurion dedicated his life to overcoming. Our Hebrew names are important parts of our Jewish identities. activities 1. Set Induction: Meet Ben Gurion 2. Visit sde Boker 3. The Meaning of Ben Gurion s name A debate You know You Ve succeeded when students can tell Ben Gurion s story. students can describe sde Boker. students debate the changing of one s name to Hebrew. students can write their names in Hebrew. lesson plan 0. Add david Ben Gurion to your timeline. Put sde Boker on your map. 1. Set Induction: Meet Ben Gurion. Students will work in pairs to write and act out an interview with david Ben Gurion. Instruct students to read page 11 of Yisrael Sheli and then work with their partners to ask three questions of david Ben 13

14 Gurion and imagine the answers he would give. Have pairs perform their interviews. 2. Visit Sde Boker: Working in groups of four, ask students to use page 12 as a resource to create a travel brochure for Sde Boker. 3. The Meaning of Ben Gurion s Name A Debate. Introduce the changing of Ben Gurion s name. Explain that David was already a Hebrew name. David was a King of Israel who was in the Bible. Ben Gurion s last name was originally Green. Rather than translating Green into Hebrew, Ben Gurion chose a sound-alike name (Ben Gurion) that means son of a lion. 14 Explain that when Israel was being created it was a big deal to get people to stop speaking the languages of their homelands and speak Hebrew instead. Choosing a Hebrew name was part of this process. Divide the class in two. Stage a debate about whether it is still a good thing to change your name to a Hebrew name when you move to Israel.

15 ChapTer 4: beersheva pages ilan ramon Ilan ramon exemplifies the case of most Israeli heroes. He was a great soldier, participating in the air strike against the Iraqi nuclear power plant. He was also the first Israeli astronaut, and he was proud of his Jewish identity, taking into space with him all kinds of Jewish objects. Tragically, he was on the space shuttle Columbia, which overheated and was destroyed on its reentry into Earth s atmosphere. Ilan ramon lived in Beersheva and brings us to that city. big ideas Ilan ramon was a military, scientific, and Jewish hero whose intelligence, dedication, and curiosity are all worthy of emulation, as is his commitment to his Jewishness. Beersheva shows how Israel is a modern country built on the foundations of our ancient history. Like Ilan ramon, we can learn about Jewish practices by thinking about the challenges of observing them in space. activities 1. set InduCTIOn: Meet Ilan ramon 2. A Visit to Beersheva 3. Jews in space You know You Ve succeeded when students can tell the story of Ilan ramon. students can describe Beersheva as an ancient and modern city. students can complete Jews in space. lesson plan 0. Add Ilan ramon to your timeline. Put Beersheva on your map. 1. Set Induction: Meet Ilan Ramon. Show a picture of Ilan ramon in his spacesuit. You can find one on page 14 of Yisrael Sheli. On it you can see both a nasa patch and an Israeli flag. When your students find both of these you can point out that Ilan ramon was an Israeli pilot who was invited to fly on the U.S. space shuttle. Once this is established, read the article on page A Visit to Beersheva. There are two universities in Beersheva: the Ben Gurion University of the 15

16 16 Negev and Beersheva University. Both put great emphasis on desert sciences. Ask your students to design a T-shirt for one of these universities. Have the students read the text on page 15 and then start designing. 3. Jews in Space. In Mel Brook s History of the World, Part I, there is a parody called Jews in Space. We borrowed the image, took the problems that Ilan Ramon took to a rabbi about how to be Jewish (like when to celebrate Shabbat) in space, and created this exercise. Each of the ten images suggests a number of problems. For example, first we have a girl lighting Shabbat candles. When do you light candles in space? Sunset is about every three hours. Second, open flames are not good in space ships (because of the oxygen balance). What do you do instead of lighting a flame? The same kinds of problems can be found for each image.

17 ChapTer 5: eilat pages king solomon King solomon was the son of King david. According to the Bible, he was the one who built the Temple in Jerusalem. Solomon has been a tricky figure archaeologically. We have no access to the Temple Mount to check for the first Temple. Our best evidence comes from a statement in the Bible that Solomon fortified three cities: Gazer, Hazor, and Meggido. Archeological digs there have found three similar gates that seem to support the biblical statement (and give us evidence of Solomon). Other scholars argue that these gates were built in the 8 th century B.C.E., not the 10 th, and therefore are too modern for solomon. We have no better archeology supporting King solomon s existence. The Bible paints a rich portrait of solomon as a wise king who expands the borders of Israel. In this chapter we tell the classic story of Solomon s wisdom the two women who claim to be the mother of the same child and we connect solomon to Eilat, Israel s port on the red sea, where solomon built a harbor and had mines. For more background on King Solomon, go to Modern Eilat is a place of diving, gambling, and recreation. (For background on Eilat, go to or big ideas King solomon s wisdom teaches us of the value of using intelligence and wisdom to solve problems. As Israel s year-round relaxation destination, Eilat is fun to visit because of its beautiful beaches, coral reefs, and temperate climate. activities 0. Put Solomon on the timeline. Mark Eilat on the map. 1. Set Induction: King Solomon Brainstorming 2. Eilat Video 3. Eilat Travel Poster Video 4. Count the Fish You know You Ve succeeded when students can introduce King solomon. students can describe Eilat. students can illustrate their knowledge of Eilat with a travel poster. 17

18 Students can appreciate the beauty of Eilat s coral reefs. Lesson plan 1. Set Induction: King Solomon Brainstorming. Return to our usual beginning. Ask students to tell you everything they know about King Solomon. Record the information on the board. If there is a need to fill in, have them read the text (page 17) and then add to the board list. The text asks the following questions: How did King Solomon know who was the real mother? Can 18 you think of a situation in your life in which King Solomon s wisdom could help solve a problem? The answer to first part is the mother who loved the child enough to give it up. The second part of question asks students to share personal experience. 2. Eilat Video. There are a lot of videos on YouTube about Eilat. Most of them promote a single hotel. A good, short view of the beaches and reefs is Eilat Israel ( watch?v=kxhngsqw6xi1). Watch the video and list some of the best things to do in Eilat. If necessary, supplement the video with the text on page 18 of Yisrael Sheli. 3. Eilat Travel Poster. You will need markers, pencils, and poster board. Break the class into groups. Assign them to write a tag

19 line (a sell line ) for Eilat. Have them then design and share their posters. 4. Count the Fish. Page 19 has a fun (but fairly impossible to get right) fish counting activity. Enjoy the process. Consider it like guessing the number of jellybeans in a jar. 19

20 JosePhus ChapTer 6: masada pages Josephus ( was a Jewish rebel who surrendered and became a roman historian of the Jews. Living between 37 and 100 C.E., he helped us understand the story of the destruction of the Temple, the siege of Masada, the context for Jesus, and much more. He was the military leader of the Jewish city of Yodfat in the Galilee. When surrounded by the romans, the leaders of the Jewish rebellion agreed that they would commit suicide by drawing lots to kill each other. Josephus managed to be the last. Instead of killing himself, he surrendered to the romans and became part of the court of the roman General Titus, who became a roman emperor. Among the important pieces of history that would have been lost without Josephus is the story of Masada. On a mountain top by the dead sea is a fortress built for King Herod, Masada ( org/wiki/masada). For three years the Zealots (rebels) held out against the romans, then participated in a mass suicide before the romans could conquer them. 20 big ideas Though a difficult figure in Jewish history, Josephus is important because he helped to remember the stories of what happened to the Jewish people after the destruction of the Second Temple. Masada is a symbol of freedom because the Jewish fighters who lived there fought to the end in order to resist becoming roman slaves. The suicidal actions of the Masada zealots is a dark moment in Jewish history that forces us to examine whether it is

21 morally or Jewishly permissible to die for something you believe in. activities 1. Set Induction: Take your students on a tour of Masada. 2. Meet Josephus 3. Listen to Josephus 4. What s Worth Fighting For? 5. Closure You know You Ve succeeded when students can identify Josephus. students can describe Masada and its role in Jewish history. students discuss the correctness of the Zealots choice. students discuss things they consider worth fighting for. lesson plan 0. Put Josephus on the timeline. Mark Masada on the map. 1. Set Induction: Take your students on a tour of Masada. You can do it with videos from YouTube (be careful; Masada is also a jazz band and a machine gun) or by showing the old 1981 TV series dvd or the History Channel dvd, by using the book Masada by Yigal Yadin, or by downloading images (there are a zillion) from Google. You want your students to have a visual sense of the site. 2. Meet Josephus: Turn to page 20. read the text on Josephus and discuss why he is important. Answer: He is the only source for the Second Temple period other than the Talmud and the Christian Scriptures. 3. listen to Josephus: The text on page 24 is the speech Josephus attributes to Eleazar ben Yair, the leader of the Zealots, just before they committed suicide. read it dramatically to your students (maybe in a darkened room) and then discuss it. 4. What s Worth Fighting For? The box on page 22 offers a scroll on which to record things that your students have found worth fighting for. Have your students fill out the scroll and then share answers. 21

22 Eleazar ben Yair s speech My loyal followers, long ago we resolved to serve neither the Romans nor anyone else but only God, Who alone is the true and righteous God of men. Now the time has come that forces us to prove our determination by our deeds. At a time like this, we must not disgrace ourselves: we have never submitted to slavery, even when it brought no danger with it: we must not choose slavery now, and with it penalties that will mean the end of everything if we fall alive into the hands of the Romans. For we were the first of all to revolt, and shall be the last to break off the struggle. And I think it is God who has given us this privilege, that we can die nobly and as free men, unlike others who were unexpectedly defeated. In our case it is evident that day-break will end our resistance, but we are free to choose an honorable death with our loved ones. This our enemies cannot prevent, however earnestly they may pray to take us alive; nor can we defeat them in battle. Let our wives die unabused, our children without knowledge of slavery: after that, let us do each other an ungrudging kindness, preserving our freedom. But first let our possessions and the whole fortress go up in flames: it will be a bitter blow to the Romans, that I know, to find our persons beyond their reach and nothing left for them to loot. One thing only let us spare our store of food: it will bear witness when we are dead to the fact that we perished, not through want but because, as we resolved at the beginning, we chose death rather than slavery. Josephus Flavius, Jewish Wars Book 7, 8:6 a. What is Eleazar s argument for committing mass suicide? Death is better than slavery. b. Did the Zealots on Masada do the right thing? This is the conversation we have been setting up. Masada was once a big deal. It was used by the army for important ceremonies and gave us the expression Masada will never fall a second time. Today it has been downgraded in importance. It has become less of a model. 22

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