Israel And The Diaspora - Glossary of Terms and "Characters"
This programme is suitable for use on Shabbat
20 - 40
Ideally one facilitator per subgroup (ie four), Minimum one
1. To show participants that the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora is one which is continually evolving
2. To highlight some of the key stages of this evolving relationship
3. To teach participants of some of the key words which they will use during the mifgashim component of their Israel Experience
4. To bring interesting Israel/Diaspora issues to the floor to be further explored during the mifgashim component of their Israel Experience
5. To educate about four key figures in the relationship between British Jewry and the state of Israel
6. To show the unique role which Britain and the British Jewish community has had in shaping the current state of Israel
7. To inform participants of how the present day relationship between Israel and the Diaspora has manifested itself in the Partnership 2000 programme - of which a practical manifestation is the 'people-to people (living bridge) programmes
Introduction - 5 minutes:
Staff members take an equal number of statements/questions about the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora.
Staff members should then stand at different points around the room and they should go round in a pre-arranged order with each staff member reading out a separate point.
The points should be as follows. Please note that there are 20 points:
Is Israel a charity or an economically developed country?
Is moving to Israel (Aliyah) still necessary?
Is the Zionist dream already achieved or is it work in progress?
Assimilation - what is the correct response?
Can one live a more fulfilled Jewish Life in Israel and elsewhere?
It is easier to be a Jew in Israel
Do Jews from outside Israel have a say in the internal affairs of Israel?
Does Israel depend upon Jews outside Israel for political support?
Is Jewish Identity centred around Israel or elsewhere?
The State of Israel belongs more to it's citizens (including Arabs) than it does to Jews living outside of Israel
Is Israel just a nice holiday place for British Jews as opposed to a Jewish homeland?
The Jewish People could not continue to exist without the State of Israel
A Jew who visits Israel is like any other tourist
Diaspora Jewish communities should help Israelis who move to their communities in the same way that Israel helps those Jews who move there from the Diaspora
Israeli Jews should not leave Israel to live anywhere else
Diaspora Jews should not try to influence what goes on in Israel; Israelis should not try to influence what happens in Diaspora communities
Israelis and Diaspora Jews both make sacrifices for their people and Jewish continuity
The Peace Process has weakened the connection between Israel and the Diaspora
All of Israel (ie the Jewish People) is responsible for one another
The 'Hatikvah' is the National Anthem of all Jews
The following statement should then be read out:
"Since the destruction of the first temple in Jerusalem until the creation of the current day state of Israel there have always been varying numbers of Jews living outside of the physical land of Israel.
These Jews eventually settled all around the globe - examples of settlement being Eastern Europe, Africa, the Americas, Britain, Ethiopia and Russia. Some have chosen to return to Israel - others have not.
The dispersal of the Jews around the world has therefore lead to two very distinct groups of Jews - those living in Israel and those who don't.
This programme looks at the various stages that Jews living outside of Israel have gone through with the land of Israel since the destruction of the second temple - with particular focus on how this relationship manifests itself today - and thus why you have a mifgashim component on your Israel Experience."
The following should then be explained to the participants:
You will be split up into four different groups
Each group has the task of performing a play or presentation about a certain period of time in the history of the Jews since the destruction of the temple
If the group doesn't feel it is appropriate they may do a straight forward presentation instead.
They will be provided with information sheets about their particular period in time
Note that the emphasis on all productions should be the relationship between Jews living inside and outside of Israel.
Furthermore they will be given a information on a character who is influential in the period of time you are looking at. The play should focus on them - ie they should be the central character
They will also be given a key word about their period of time which must appear in their play exactly five times - and no more than five times. They also have to explain the meaning of this word in their play.
It should be pointed out that the more amusing their play is the better.
Note that it is am option to perform the plays as one continuous cycle - ie before the first play is performed every group stands in what will be their starting position - not moving until it is their turn to perform the play. The plays are then performed one after the other - so it feels like they are telling a story.
A staff member should then split up all participants into four groups of equal sizes -the recommended way of doing this is by using the names Jeremiah, Weitzman, Monteftore, Sacks - as these figures will be explored by each group.
Each group should then be asked to locate itself in a separate corner of the room - but m the order above (ie Jeremiah is next to Weitzman and Sacks).
Note that the various plays will be performed in their chronological order.
Where possible one staff member should sit with each group.
Preparation -25 mins:
In groups (facilitated by the staff member) they should first of all look at their key 'word' and read out it's definition.
Subsequently they should read out the information about their particular period of time -
Start of Zionism and the British Mandate
Post-Zionism and Jewish Renewal
The staff member should try to ensure that all group members get a chance to read information.
At this point it might be worth the staff member to facilitate some sort of discussion as to how they can present this information - note that they also have to include their key figure in their presentation.
After this they should read the information sheet on their key figure - these being:
Biblical Period - Jeremiah
Start of Zionism and the British Mandate - Chaim Weitzman
Philanthropy - Sir Moses Montifiore
Post-Zionism and Jewish Renewal - Professor Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
It should be ensured that all the information is understood by the group and that there are no mis-conceptions.
The staff member with the group should then facilitate the preparation of the play -some ideas of the form it can take are: