Activity: The Right To Return

The aim of this activity is to raise the issue of immigration to the State of Israel and to start examining the responsibility of Israel for world Jewry as the students see it.

  • Explain the fact that, in July 1950, the question of the right of immigration for Jews was debated in the Knesset and a law called the Law of Return was accepted.
  • Divide the class up into small groups and give each one the following piece of the law:
    1. Every Jew has the right to immigrate to the country.
    2. Immigration shall be on the basis of an immigrant's visa. An immigrant's visa shall be granted to every Jew who has expressed his desire to settle in Israel, unless...

      Each group must complete the sentence or paragraph.

  • Now the different ideas should be examined prior to reading together the final, accepted version of the Law of Return.
  • Ask each student to prepare their thoughts about the issue of Jewish immigration (i.e. the rights of Jews to immigrate to the State of Israel) in the form of a speech to the Knesset at the time of the debate on the Law of Return.
  • Some members of the class should be asked to make their speech to the class, and to be prepared to field questions about their opinions.
  • Now hand out a copy of the excerpt from Ben Gurion's speech. The class should read this and discuss Ben Gurion's concept of the State of Israel as the state of the whole Jewish people. “It is a state for all the Jews wherever they may be and for every Jew who so desires.” How do the students respond to these ideas? In what ways, if at all, is the idea true for them?
  • Finally we suggest asking the students to respond to the following question: Am I pleased that there is a Law of Return that applies to me and will allow me to make aliyah whenever I want? Does it make any difference to me or is it completely irrelevant?


 

 

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11 Dec 2006 / 20 Kislev 5767 0