Activity: Thinking Forward
  • Explain to the group that they have now examined many relevant aspects of the Jewish world as a whole. Divide them into small groups and ask them to write a brief report as to how they see the Jewish world in about fifty years’ time. They should think about the following four factors:

    THE JEWISH DEMOGRAPHIC SITUATION.

    THE SITUATION OF DIASPORA JEWISH COMMUNITIES.

    THE SITUATION OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL.

    THE SITUATION OF THE JEWISH RELIGION.

  • They should prepare the reports and present them to the group as a whole, which can represent a committee of the World Jewish Congress, meeting to discuss the Jewish future. Then discuss the various points raised in the reports.
  • Introduce to the group the idea of ethical wills and hand out the two pieces from the ethical wills that appeared in the main text.
  • What can the group learn about the characters of the two writers? Would it be useful or annoying to receive such a letter?
  • Ask each individual to choose a character from their family future (we suggest a grandson or granddaughter), living in the Jewish world that they sketched out earlier. First, they should write a brief description of the person. Where do they live? Are they Jewish? If so, what sort of Jewish life do they live? They are asked to write to this person an ethical will in which they will put all the lessons that they think they have learned from life in terms of living in the Jewish world.
  • Let them each go away to write their letter. It may be advisable to have unobtrusive music playing in the background.
  • Finally, bring all the students back together and ask them to describe to each other the experience of writing such a document. Did they enjoy it? Why? Why not? If someone is prepared to read their letter out, that would be very good, but do not press anyone to do so.


 

 

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11 Dec 2006 / 20 Kislev 5767 0