65 Ideas for Teaching Israel

  1. Put together the giant IsraelExperts™ Puzzle Map with your class – and find important biblical sites. Download the Israel Puzzle Map Activity.
  2. Have historical characters from Israel and Jewish history visit your school in chronological order (Abraham, Moses, Judah the Maccabee, Theodore Herzl, Rachel Bluwstein, David Ben Gurion, Golda Meir…) – and interview them or have a debate.
  3. Have your students create a multimedia presentation on different cities in Israel.
  4. Create a News Response Team to see how different news channels, papers, etc., report the same story differently.
  5. Recreate an event in the history of Israel using costumes and props and post it on YouTube.
  6. Create your own Western Wall/Kotel – using paper grocery bags stuffed with newspaper. Place your creation in the community and have people place their wishes in the cracks.
  7. Use a map of Israel to teach Bible (contact IsraelExperts™ for a free folding road map or purchase our Israel Puzzle Map).
  8. Talk about the weather in Israel verses the weather in your community during the three festivals (Sukkot, Pesach and Shavuot).
  9. Have students research major inventions, technology, discoveries & other contributions from Israel. Try www.israel21c.com.
  10. Compare & contrast the different geological regions in Israel.
  11. Find distant (or not so distant) relatives in Israel and send them a list of questions about their lives.
  12. Raise money for an Israeli tzedaka – do some research about different projects & organizations.
  13. Have students research and create an itinerary for their dream trip to Israel.
  14. Learn about Shivat HaMinim – the Seven Species of Israel, where they appear in the Torah and in Jewish holidays. 7 Species!
  15. Create a nature collage using plants found in Israel – get leaves from a local nursery and explore the Neot Kedumim website.
  16. Read Hatikvah and compare to the Star Spangled Banner.
  17. Learn about Operation Moses and the Jews of Ethiopia who came to Israel.
  18. Debate how “religious” Israel should be (buses on Shabbat, stores on Shabbat…)
  19. Read the Israeli Declaration of Independence and compare to the U.S. Declaration of Independence.
  20. Find out about the environmental issues Israel is facing – especially regarding the Dead Sea.
  21. Invite high school or college students who have been in Israel to talk to your class.
  22. Read the Kinneret Declaration about the future of Israel as a Jewish-Democratic state.
  23. Watch an Israeli movie or television show (Shalom Sesame, West Bank Story, Givat Halfon Eina Ona, Operation Yonatan, Mivtza Savta, Kishkashta, et).
  24. Learn how Jewish holidays are celebrated on Kibbutzim (especially the Shavuot tractor dances!).
  25. Read and discuss Shimon Peres’ speech at his inauguration as President.
  26. Learn about different forms of Zionism (Labor, Religious, National, Cultural, Political…).
  27. Do an Israel scavenger hunt through the Siddur – looking for references to Israel.
  28. Listen to some modern Israeli music – and examine the lyrics. Try Hadag Nachash, David Broza, Aviv Gefen…
  29. Learn about the differences in the cultural lives of three different Israeli religions: Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
  30. Invite someone from your local Federation department of Israel & Overseas to come speak to your class.
  31. Learn about the differences between your Movement (Reconstructionist, Reform, Conservative, Orthodox) in Israel and North America.
  32. Have a contest to create a model of Jerusalem from different media (food, trash, Lego…)
  33. Make a collage of the different faces and communities of Israel: Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Russian, Ethiopian, Bedouin, Druze, Christian, Moslem, Hasidic, Modern Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Armenian…
  34. Try an issue of BabagaNewz – a fun magazine for kids dealing with Judaism and Israel.
  35. Have a poster contest telling people about travel to Israel.
  36. Learn about your Partnership Together (P2G) Community in Israel – and find a school to dialogue with.
  37. Do a scavenger hunt through a particular book or parsha of the Torah – looking for references to Israel.
  38. Have students create an annotated list of websites connected to Israel.
  39. Spend some time yourself, as teacher, learning more about Israel, attending a course or lecture on Israel education.
  40. Participate in your community Israel Independence Day Celebration, or have your own celebration.
  41. Send pictures, letters or pizza to Israeli soldiers.
  42. Create an Israeli meal – find menus from restaurants in Israel to help you plan. Invite another class or parents!
  43. Learn about Ilan Ramon – the Israeli astronaut.
  44. Find out what issues the Supreme Court in Israel is currently addressing.
  45. Learn about the famous Women in Israel – both historically and today.
  46. Find someone in your community who grew up in Israel to come speak about their memories.
  47. Have an Israeli song festival – find local sponsors to bring Israeli products.
  48. Read Yehuda Amichai’s poem, “Tourists” – and consider the relationship between Jews abroad and Jews in Israel.
  49. Use a sandbox and create an “archaeological dig” – with “artifacts” from different times and places in Israel.
  50. Learn more about the Passport to Israel program to save money for a trip to Israel.
  51. Have a virtual trip to Israel – including flight, passport, tickets.
  52. Learn a traditional Israeli folk dance – and perform it for parents or another class.
  53. Create a poster of an important Israeli figure’s FB profile.
  54. Read a book or an article about Israel and lead a discussion about it in class.  
  55. Have a Seven Species Master-Chef competition- divide the class into groups that will each make a meal using at least three of the seven species.
  56. Learn about all the Israel resources in your community- find out how your community is connected and how it supports Israel.
  57. Make decorations for your Sukkah that are about Israel.
  58. Read Barak Obama’s speech at Jerusalem’s International Convention Center during his visit to Israel on March 2013 http://www.haaretz.com/news/obama-visits-israel/full-text-of-obama-s-speech-in-jerusalem-so-long-as-there-is-a-united-states-of-america-ah-tem-lo-lah-vahd-1.511078.
  59. Make a pie-chart of the different populations in Israel and learn if and how the needs of these populations are met in Israel.
  60. Talk about the reason Yom Hazikaron ​(Memorial Day)and Yom ​Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day) are observed consecutively.
  61. Learn about the core principles of the IDF from Ruach Tzahal http://www.idfinfo.co.il/Ruach_Tzahal.php?cat=a15
  62. Not everyone in Israel serves in the IDF- what other forms of national service are available in Israel? Try to think of more ways to make use of volunteers in a national service program.
  63. Create a discussion about the way Yom HaShoah is commemorated in Israel, and why it is commemorated that way. Why is there a difference between the international holocaust memorial date and the Israeli one?
  64. Is there such a thing as Israeli food?  Try and learn about the origins of popular dishes in Israel.
  65. Call IsraelExperts™ today and begin planning a trip for teachers, students, families, leaders.