Program: Israel and the Diaspora
This program seeks to stimulate the participants to analyze the state of Jewish Israel-Diaspora relations and where they stand personally on the issue.
- To explore Jewish Israel-Diaspora relations.
- To stimulate the participants to analyze their own personal connections to Israel.
What you will need:
- copies of the appendices.
- pens and paper.
- large pieces of paper.
Stage 1 - Venn diagrams (approximately 30 minutes)
1. Distribute copies of Appendix 1.
2. Ask each participant to choose the Venn diagram which best reflects (for them personally) the reality of Israel-Diaspora relations.
Stress that there is no one "correct" answer, rather it is a matter of personal opinion. The empty box is for participants who wish to create their own Venn diagram.
3. Ask various participants to share their ideas.
4. Divided the group into sub-groups of five or six participants and ask them to come to a consensus within each of their groups regarding a pictorial representation of Israel-Diaspora relations. They should then draw this on a large piece of paper.
5. Ask each group to show and explain their diagram to each of the other groups and to answer questions about their views.
Stage 2 - An Israel-Diaspora Covenant
1. In the same sub-groups as above, the participants should write a covenant for Israel-Diaspora relations. They should consider what each (ie. the Jews in Israel and the Jews in the Diaspora) need and should be able to expect from one another.
2. Once written, each group should present their covenant to each other.
3. Optional: discuss the differences and similarities between the different covenant.
Stage 3 - Discussion:
1. Distribute copies of Appendix 2 and ask the participants to read the different quotes regarding Israel-Diaspora relations. You may want to discuss some or all of the following questions:
- How do you view Israeli Jews?
- How do you think Israeli Jews view Diaspora Jews?
- What right (if any) do you think Jews in the Diaspora have, to voice their opinions regarding or to try to affect what goes on in Israel?
To what degree does Israel "belong" to world Jewry and to what degree is it "owned by Israeli Jewry?
- Do you think Jewish continuity of Diaspora Jews is a top priority of Israeli Jews? Should it be?
- Are there any countries in the world in which you believe Jews can feel truly safe and secure?
- Do you think Diaspora Jews have an obligation to support Israel (vocally, financially etc.)?
- Do you agree with Rabbi Jonathan Sacks that "Israel surely is our ultimate destination"?
- How do your views and attachment to Israel impact on your Jewish identity?
Also on the WUJS site:
More Yom HaAtzmaut Activities.
The very basics on the Israel Day of Independence.
This year's dates for Yom HaAtzmaut can be found in our WUJS Year Mapper.