• Students will complete an identity chart
• Students will be able to identify their existing relationship with the Land of Israel
- Download and print out the Identity Chart found in the RESOURCES tab. Make a copy for each student
- Check your audio-visual set-up, making sure that both video and sound playback are in working order.
Hand out an identity chart and a pen/pencil to each of your students or direct you students to the writable PDF below Before they begin, ask: If you want someone to understand who you are, what would you tell them about yourself’ What adjectives would you use? What would you tell them about your values? Feel free to share pertinent personal information or use one of the example charts (about Harry Potter and Wonder Woman) found in the RESOURCES tab.
Click here to open up your Identity Chart.
Once they have finished, invite some of your students to share out.
Ask: Did anyone list “Jewish” or “Israel” on their chart? What role does Judaism play in your overall identity?
Tell students that in each session, you will explore what role the State of Israel plays in our Jewish Identity. Ask: What connection do you have already? Have you visited Israel? Has anyone in your family? Do you have relatives or friends in Israel? Do you follow the news about Israel? Does your family give to Israeli charitable organizations? Etc.
In this activity, students will watch and react to the Hebrew song Shevet Achim V’achayot. The song features 35 Israeli pop artists from several eras and was recorded for the 71st anniversary of Israel’s independence.
The song title is a play on the traditional Hebrew song Hinei Mah Tov, which, in turn, comes from the book of Psalms (133:1)
שִׁיר הַמַּעֲלוֹת לְדָוִד הִנֵּה מַה־טּוֹב וּמַה־נָּעִים שֶׁבֶת אַחִים גַּם־יָחַד׃
A song of ascents. Of David. How good and how pleasant it is. that brothers dwell together
The Hebrew word shevet spelled with tav means to sit; the Hebrew word shevet spelled with a tet means tribe.
Students will listen to the song and answer some related questions.
Our first few activities in IsraelLINK focused on your identity. In truth, we have many identities. Your journey began at the same place and point in time as many others. You are uniquely you, having taken your unique path. Some paths intersected, some changed direction, and tragically, some were cut short. It took countless twists and turns in the paths of your ancestors to get you to where you are today. You are a culmination of collective experience. As a member of the Jewish people with your own distinctive identity, your journey began back at a singular starting point with a tribe.
Students will use the chorus of Shevet Achim V’achayot to reflect on what they have learned about their identity and how it might connect to the land of Israel. This will become part of MY ISRAEL STORY. Though they are instructed to read the lyrics themselves, you can also invite a student to read them aloud.
Read the chorus of the song Shevet Achim V’achayot, below and respond to the prompts. Your answer will be saved to help you complete your MY ISRAEL STORY.
כָּאן זֶה בַּיִת, כָּאן זֶה לֵב
וְאוֹתַךְ אנ'לא עוֹזֵב
וַאֲנַחְנוּ הַפְּרָחִים, הַמַּנְגִּינוֹת
שֵׁבֶט אַחִים וַאֲחָיוֹת
Here is home, here is heart
And you I will not leave
Our ancestors, our roots
We are the flowers, the melodies
A tribe of brothers and sisters
Ask a student to read aloud as others follow along:
The Jewish People come from many backgrounds, ethnicities, beliefs, and nations. With such diversity, we are still all one family. No matter where our ancestors came from, OUR story all started in the same place over 3400 years ago. That place is Israel. We are about to begin a course of study. Think about what you listed on your identity chart: What makes you, YOU? What are your values? What do you cherish? As you get to know Israel through the LINK program, see if there are any similarities between what you learn about Israel and what you know about yourself.