Understand and explore the characters from a non-Israeli starting point.
Invest a sense of encounter with young Israelis and enable participants to feel at ease with them.
Role play with the Israeli character bouncing off the members of your group.
Role sheets [Identity Cards]
Pencils and paper
Divide the group into two. One half of the group is allocated a selection of Identity Cards and each person has to study the role. In the other half of the group, everyone has to jot down a few details about themselves to make a short autobiography.
Sit the group in two concentric, facing circles, so that everyone has a partner. Each pair has to get to know each other by asking questions, starting from name, family, hobbies... Allow 2 minutes.
Now ask the inner circle to move around one seat to the left and the outer circle to move around one seat to the right, so that new pairs are formed. There should be a really brief introduction to each other, with partners having to respond to the issue of what Israel Independence Day means to them. Allow enough time to discuss it briefly.
Bring everyone together and review how this went - generally, then specifically:
How did people feel playing an Israeli? playing themselves?
How do we get to know others? How do we make friends - what do
we need to have in common?
How did we handle our differences?
Did our reaction to the other person change as we learned more about them?
Did knowledge bring a sense of empathy, closeness or feelings of distance?
Enter Israeli characters to greater depth.
Stimulate a discussion in role to explore an Israeli age-peer group.
Explore attitudes to controversial issues.
Compare and contrast young people in both societies.
Each self-contained unit of Israelis plays out discussions on at least 3 of the 5 set dilemmas.
Divide participants into groups of seven and hand out one set of role cards to each group. Participants choose their roles - not one they have previously played. The educator should check that this goes smoothly.
Allow a minute or two for participants to refresh their memories about the make-up of their character. Each character presents him/herself to the others in their group.
Distribute several copies of dilemma sheets [below] to each group. Ensure that the groups understand the dilemmas and explain that they are going to be allowed 3-4 minutes to discuss each one. In this time, the groups are to have everyone react to the issue under discussion and then debate freely as young Israelis.
If there are five groups, each group can prepare to stage a debate on one issue for the presentations. If there are only two or three groups, you can ask each group to pick one topic to present later on. Allow a few extra minutes to prepare presentations.
The educator should be alert for misunderstandings and misinterpreta- tions of role at this stage.
Note: Participants may have difficulty getting into role and starting up. If this happens, gently stop the presentation and ask them to remind everyone else who they are playing, add a few gentle directions and let them resume.
Use the other groups each time to see whether these were the only reactions to the issue before going on to examine whether young Jewish teenagers in the Diaspora are different or similar in outlook to Israelis and why.
Think about your own response to the dilemma and give everyone in your group a chance to state their view before you start a free discussion. Try to give reasons for your own position, in accordance with your role.
What do you think about the peace process as young Israelis?
[Hint: good/bad for Israel - in what way?
how is it paced?]
If territory is the price for peace, should Israel make concessions?
[Hint: will territorial concessions endanger Israel's
Which is more important - having the whole land of Eretz Yisrael or
having a smaller state where the majority of residents will be Jewish?
A new immigrant from [choose where from] has entered your class. How
will you relate to him or her?
[Hint: how do you feel about new immigrants, especially from
the US/former USSR/Romania/Ethiopia? Do you empathize with
Think of three major factors which can ensure the survival of the
[Hint: Hebrew language, State of Israel, teaching the
Shoa, Jewish traditions, Jewish education, serving in the IDF,
marrying another Jew, keeping kosher, observing Shabbat...]
Which of these seems least important?
To which of these are you committed as a young Israeli?
Commitment at 18?
Explore implications of community commitment at an age when most Israelis are going into the army.
Validate different approaches and attitudes.
Create a sense of shared destiny.
Use of a new selection of roles from the Diaspora; closed response options and interpretation of their significance.
Question sheet [see below]
Extra role cards [prepare these yourselves - ideas below!]
Reconstitute groups by using the four extra roles to form groups of 12.
In role, participants mark their choice of response.
Whip round to see answers in your group.
Bring everyone back together again.
How did the new roles' responses tally with or differ from the Israeli responses?
Did the participants perceive different levels and types of commitment?
How did they relate in role to the concept of commitment to community - partial or total at age 18?
Did this have an impact on their perception of life in Israel and Israelis?
Were they open to discussing the concept of commitment in personal terms - what types of commitment were addressed and how did they relate to them? [Don't push this if they're not interested and ready!]
Did the discussion of commitment have any benefit for your group as young Jewish near-adults?
Below are a few different types of volunteer commitment a young Jewish person could make to his or her community at age 18. Which do you choose, in your role and why?
a. Once a month roster for outside services with car [meals on
wheels, transport for the handicapped].
b. One and a half hours weekly with special needs, invalids or
c. Half day per week [in the community center office, in a
Jewish school, in hospital wards with Jewish patients,
library or any community agency].
d. Youth and club leadership several times a week.
e. Full-time one-year volunteer in any community service or
agency [youth club, health & welfare, administration,