I. Ceremony Endpoint
The most appropriate form of public activity is a ceremony of commemoration. This is, however, only the endpoint in a creative process which should be the outcome of a process of study and clarification.
Elements of the ceremony
Flags at half-mast;
Compere/Master of Ceremonies;
Main address by guest;
Shadow images / creative movement performance;
Yizkor for the Fallen;
Prayer for the State of Israel & for the IDF.
II. Creative Study Process
A combination of commemoration and the hope for "a new day dawns, a blessed day" [see selection from Yitzhak Rabin's latter speeches].
- Study the period with maps, films and make transparencies, charts;
- Study the IDF, its operations, its insignia;
- Selections of modern Israeli poetry and psalms;
- Focus on the peace process.
Projects for Presentation:
- Commemoration leaflet as hand-out;
- Illustrated guest book;
- Flag-bearers' procession and formation choreography;
- Creative movement;
- Select & record background music, sound effects for ceremony;
- Exhibitions on sub-themes;
- "Stage" scenery;
- Shadow theater preparation;
- Script the verbal section of the commemoration, with the readings.
- Liturgical sections require stage-managing & rehearsal.
Readings [see also files]:
- poems and creative writing
- Nathan Alterman;
- Uri Zvi Greenberg, Amir Gilboa, Chaim Hefer
- Shaul Tchernikhovsky
- from Israel's Declaration of Independence - if for a combined ceremony, also marking the beginning of Independence Day; Yizkor etc. [as above].
- Twinning projects with young Israelis;
- Individual album projects for younger age groups;
- Drama in Hebrew activities.
III. Clarification Process
It is our recommendation that the preparations for Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha'atma'ut should not be solely a function of a calendar date, but should be integrated into an ongoing, overall curriculum of Israel and Jewish studies so that the preparations for the day have a meaningful starting point for the participants. To suddenly direct youth groups or entire classes whose members are otherwise unconnected to Israel in their daily lives into an unheralded, in-depth Commemoration project presents enormous obstacles.
We therefore recommend drawing up your curriculum, study or project series with the following aims to be expressed in various sessions:
- Create a sense of identification with Israel;
- Establish an identification with Israel's sense of loss;
- Explore the priorities and problems confronting Israel;
- Seek a means of expression of this identification process.
Some important elements in this process will therefore be:
- Finding a personal link to the day;
- Clarifying how different people feel about the day, the ceremony;
- Deciding how to commemorate the loss.
Essentially, this also implies that participants require some basic historical and geo-political background [depending on their age], with older age-groups addressing the issues arising from areas such as: Zionism, the need and struggle for Jewish independence, Israel's wars and the peace process. There should also be some ongoing contact with Israel, whether it is a twinning project, a regional quiz, or any other series of events.
In terms of curriculum for specifically older age-groups, we recommend a reverse historical direction in the curriculum, as it is easier to involve pre-college students from the Current Events* angle and then proceed to base these in their historical, cultural and geo-political context.