Three Years since the Assassination

Commemoration Activities


Many communities and groups will choose to organize a Memorial ceremony during the coming week. In order to make this more than a public ritual, schools and Jewish organizations can think through the elements they wish to include in the ceremony using these educational activities to reflect on the issues. If you wish, you can combine the activities with the ceremony by doing any of them around round tables with memorial candles in the semi-dark.

The necessary online source references are provided as urls.


Make copies of excerpts from Rabin's speeches featured on url and a copy of the questions below. Divide into groups of 5.

Allow the groups 30 minutes to read documents, address the issues and prepare a short answer on each (using excerpts or their own words).

Do one of the following:

  • Each group comes to the fore in turn. Each group member will give the response to one question (10 minutes).
  • If planning a discussion, sit everyone in a circle and allow all groups to reply on one question at a time - then discuss how participants relate to these ideas & hopes in perspective (40-50 minutes). An extension to prepare for the ceremony could be writing a piece of prose, making banners with slogans, composing a song or a poem, poster-making (2 hours).
  • To incorporate these ideas into a ceremony, have participants prepare the same short responses from personal perpectives and stand in a circle with a candle. Responses can be prefaced with phrases like, "Yitzhak Rabin will be remembered because...", "Yitzhak Rabin was a man who..." "Yitzhak Rabin hoped for...", "Yitzhak Rabin's most important words were..." and the like.

Please discuss the following questions and summarise your answers:

  1. What sort of a person was Yitzhak Rabin? How did a Haganah and an IDF officer for 27 years become a peace-maker?
  2. What were Rabin's hopes and beliefs in pursuing a peace agreement with the Palestinians and others?
  3. What were Rabin's political and strategic goals in pursuing a peace agreement with former enemies?
  4. On what were these peace plans based - and has this happened?
  5. In his eulogy at Rabin's funeral, US President Clinton poignantly referred to the Torah portion of Lech Lecha in which the patriarch Abraham is tested in his faith by the command to sacrifice his son Isaac (Yitzhak), who is delivered by Divine intervention and called Rabin, "your son, Yitzhak". Whether you accept this reference or not, discuss the element of faith in Rabin's sense of purpose and whether or not Israel has moved forwards in this spirit.




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27 Sep 2005 / 23 Elul 5765 0