Suggestion #1 - for younger participants:
Using line drawings of Israeli sites and some of your own, make an outline map of Israel in several copies [one for each team] and run this as a competitive activity for teams, each of which should have an Israeli name, of course!
Use the "Israel Tour" below to make up location cards.
Teams receive an envelope with eleven place cards, another envelope with all 22 line drawings, a packet of pins or tape and have to compete to match the right drawings with their locations AND pin them on the map. You can help them by having a control map on the wall or on a transparency.
Suggestion #2 - for teenagers:
"Inside Israel" a pre- or post-Israel Experience Media Program:
For this you will need to have slides of Israel or copy these and other line drawings onto transparency to make your own slides. Alternatively, take and make clips ahead of time from a few Israeli tourist film onto a master tape.
You will also need tapes/cds of Israeli and Jewish music plus a means of editing a soundtrack/video - and a lot of time!
The assignment can be prepared at various levels of sophistication - just music with a series of slides or clips edited together or a fully scripted magnus opus, focusing on any of the experiential aspects of going to Israel, a diary around Israel, learning about Israel, the importance of Israel. The tour material below will serve as background information or a possible shot list.
Suggestion #3 - for teenagers:
As part of your events for Yom Ha'atzmaut, hold a short quiz with two teams or four individual competitors. You will need projection equipment, slides, line drawings.
Question cards can be made in either of the following ways, according to level of knowledge:
Give the definition and ask for the famous place or:
Give the location and ask for why it is famous [3 points for each major detail]
Make this a family team competition, on the lines of "Give us a Word". This means that there are two teams of four [2 or 4 families]. It is worthwhile picking cards of equivalent difficulty and doing one round if time is limited. If you are going to make an evening of it at a small community gathering, you will obviously need more locations - more cards - and you can change teams around so that everyone gets a chance to play.
The question master holds all the name cards and calls one person from the first team, showing him or her the first card. The competitors' task is to mime to their own team in absolute silence - and in under one minute - the name of the place they are shown. Participants are allowed to use conventions for indicating number of syllables, "sounds like" and so on. A name guessed in 30 seconds brings 3 points; in 60 seconds - 2 points; in 90-120 seconds - only 1 point.
Next, the question master calls the first person from the opposing team and the game continues in this manner.
- JERUSALEM: The capital of Israel. First captured by the army of King David three thousand years ago. Jerusalem was reunited after the Six-Day War in 1967. Look for the most holy place of the Jewish people -- the Western Wall.
- TEL-AVIV: Means "Hill of Spring" and is first mentioned in the book of Ezekiel 3:15. Modern Tel-Aviv was founded on the sand dunes to the north of Jaffa in 1909. Look for the tall building -- the Shalom Tower.
- BETHLEHEM: Means "House of Bread." In this town is the burial place of Rachel, the wife of Jacob. Look for the large dome over Rachel's Tomb.
- MASSADA: Close to the Dead Sea stands the ancient rocky fortress of Massada. It was excavated by famed archaeologist Yigael Yadin. Among the partially restored sites are Herod's Palace and the water installations.
- HEBRON: Is sometimes called the City of Abraham for it is here that Abraham purchased the cave at Machpela, where he, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob and Leah are buried. Look for the mosque built above the tomb.
- TIBERIAS: Look for the city close to the Sea of Galilee of Lake Kinneret. It was named after a Roman emperor. Here people use its hot springs, sail on the lake and enjoy its tasty fish.
- HAIFA: This popular town reaches to the top of Mount Carmel. It was here in biblical times that the prophet Elijah denounced the prophets of Baal. It is Israel's main industrial center and seaport.
- SAFED or TZFAT: Is the lovely city in upper Galilee. In the 16th century it was known for its Jewish mystics, and the Shulchan Aruch Code of Jewish Law was written here. More recently is famous for its artists.
- TIMNA: Is found in the Negev. For thousands of years copper has been excavated here. Look for the famous pillars which are called King Solomon's mines.
- KIBBUTZ YAD MORDECAI: In 1948, during the War of Independence, members of this kibbutz held up the advance of the Egyptian army. Look for the impressive statue of Mordecai Anilewicz, hero of the Warsaw Ghetto.
- PETACH TIKVA: Means "Door of Hope." Oldest of the settlements, it is situated northeast of Tel Aviv. Founded in 1878, it is the center of Israel's citrus industry. Look for the impressive gateway to the city.
- AKKO or ACRE: Is the ancient port situated to the north of Haifa. During the later part of the Crusader period it was the capital of the Holy Land. Today is populated by Jews and Arabs. Look for the Turkish aqueduct and the port.
- LOD: Here is Israel's international airport named for David Ben-Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel. The town is mentioned in the Pesach Haggada.
- EILAT: Israel's Red Sea port. Many identify Eilat with biblical Etzion-Geber, to which Solomon brought ivory peacocks and apes from Sheba.
- ASHKELON: A popular vacation town also noted for its archaeological remains. It was one of the five original Philistine cities mentioned in the Bible, and was also associated with the deeds of the mighty Samson (Judges 14:19).
- TEL-HAI: Is a settlement in eastern Upper Galilee founded in 1918. Look for the lion of Judah, a memorial to Trumpeldor -- the hero who died here defending the settlement of Tel-Hai in 1920.
- BEER-SHEBA: Capital city of the Negev region. Here Abraham lived and dug for wells. A popular tourist attraction is the Bedouin market, and nearby is the Ben-Gurion University.
- DEGANIA: From the Hebrew "Dagan," corn. This was the first settlement to be established in the land of Israel in 1911. Degania is called the mother of the k'vutzot (settlements), an expression of the pioneering spirit and Jewish heroism.
- BETH-SHEAN: One of the ancient cities of Israel. King Saul's corpse was removed from its walls by the people of Jabesh Gilead. Look for the Roman amphitheater.
- QUMRAN: In 1947, caves close to the shore of the Dead Sea were found to contain two thousand year old scrolls. These famous Dead Sea scrolls are now housed in the Shrine of the Book building in Jerusalem.
- KIBBUTZ LOHAMEI HAGETAOT: Means "Fighters of the Ghettos." This kibbutz was founded in 1949 by Jewish partisans from the Second World War. A museum displays exhibits from the ghettos and extermination camps. Look for the modern outdoor theater.
- BETH-ALFA: A village in eastern Jezreel valley established in 1922. Look for the 6th century synagogue mosaic floor discovered here.