Sunday, March 29, 2009

Changes in How I Teach About Israel

these comments are from a report I recently gave to my Israel Educators Institute group, on the changes I've made in the last 6 six year in how I teach about Israel

Upon reflection, it’s evident to me that the role of Israel in the programming I do has changed significantly since I began directing at Oseh Shalom in 2002. The quality and frequency of programming has increased markedly in the last year, attributable to both this program [Israel Educators Institute] and my involvement with Mitzvah Heroes Fund.

What have I learned about successful programming?
  • Some aspect of Israeli life can be incorporated into many of the programs I do. It’s not necessary for a “stand alone” program to raise Israel awareness.
  • The connection needs to be relevant to the topic at hand.
  • Target audiences seem to relate best to stories about individuals – ie, the relationship aspect.
  • They are frequently eager to find points of commonality with Israel and Israelis.
  • There are a wealth of resources available, once one begins to figure out where and how to look for them (see some suggestions below).
  • Powerpoints using up-to-date graphics, photographs and illustrations carry more impact than dated videos or movies, or sepia-toned photographs.

Beginning List of Resources

The Home Page for Israel21c. Click on “links” for access to websites in 16 different topic areas.

Deviant Art for photographs about Israel. Type “Israel” in the search box. You may add filters (such as “flora,” “Tel Aviv,” or “camels”) to narrow the results.

Artzeinu: An Israel Encounter Teacher’s Guide has a wealth of information, as well as internet sites for additional information, pictures, videos, etc.

The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies (AIES) is a regional center for environmental leadership. By encouraging environmental cooperation between peoples, the Arava Institute is working towards peace and sustainable development regionally and globally.

Among other features of this Kibbutz Ketura website is a “virtual tour” of the Kibbutz. Click on “interactive map” for more information.

For sources to identify Israeli needs for tzedakah to weave into your program: Mitzvah Heroes Fund, Inc.

How has your programming/teaching about Israel changed in the last few years?

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