Activity: The Community and Me

The aim of this activity is to examine the student’s attitude towards his/her participation in the local Jewish community.

  • Give each student paper and two different-colored markers. They should draw a circle in the center of the paper in the middle of which they should write the words “my Jewish community.”
  • Around the edge of the circle the student should write single words or phrases about his/her feelings - both positive and negative - towards the phrase in the center.
  • When they have written around the circle, they should take the two markers and draw arrows connecting the words to the circle. If the words express a positive feeling or value that draws them in towards their community, they should express this by means of an arrow in one color pointing inwards towards the circle. If the word represents something negative or something that draws them away from the community, they should draw an arrow in the other color, pointing away from the circle. The more important the factor (in either direction), the larger the arrow should be drawn.
  • When they have finished, divide the participants into pairs and ask them to compare their diagrams. How many of the factors appear in both diagrams? Are there things that appear as positive in one person’s diagram that are negative in the other? They should talk about the different factors. Which are stronger: the positive or the negative? Which - if any - factors are negative?
  • In the larger group, the students should discuss and list all the factors that were mentioned. They should make two lists: one for the positive and the other for the negative factors.
  • Divide the class into small groups. Basing this exercise on these lists, each group should now attempt to summarize the feelings of the whole class towards the Jewish community, expressing this in a statement. Each statement should include a general outline of the class’s position, explaining any significant minority positions that developed. It should also include any suggestions for improving the Jewish community.
  • The students should read out these statements to the class. They should vote on any suggestions for change that may be made.
  • Finally, you should give volunteers the task of integrating the different statements into a class ‘position paper’ that you will be hand out to the students and hang up in the classroom for the duration of the project.

N.B. If there are several negative reactions and suggestions for improvements it is possible to follow up this activity, by inviting a representative of the community leadership to discuss the issues and to respond to the class’s suggestions.




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10 Dec 2006 / 19 Kislev 5767 0