The Rise Of The Zionist Movement
Did you download this file and do you have something to share?
This is the place!
Group Size: 10-50
Estimated Time: 45 minutes
The Rise of the Zionist Movement
by Steve Israel
A. Contemporary Questions beyond this Unit:
- What do you understand by the term "Exile?"
- Why do Jews use both the terms "Exile" and "Diaspora?" What lies behind the choice of these words?
B. Background Text:
It is 1882, after the Kiev pogrom.
Sarah and Aharon Davidovich feel torn. It is not enough that their whole community has been destroyed around theim; that much of their own property has been ruined or stole; that their faith in the future has been deeply shaken. Now, their children - all they really have left - are leaving them. Each of their children has come to tell them of their decision.
Hannah, their younger daughter, is staying in Russia, and will either go to Moscow or Vilna. She may work among Jews, she may work outside the community. Life will be dangerous.
Leib is leaving for America and will send for his wife and children as soon as possible. He, too, is set for a difficult life in a new land without family. He wants his parents to join him with his wife and children.
Rivka and Chaim are leaving with their children for Palestine and face an extremely harsh life. They talk of becoming farmers, but Sarah and Aharon - who know very little about Eretz Yisrael - have heard that it is difficult to make a living there. It is a poor land, not suitable for a young family. Rivka and Chaim have suggested their parents join them, maybe not immediately, but in the future.
Sarah and Aaron love all their children equally and cannot bear the thought of never seeing one or more of them again. They will have to make a choice of some kind. They have never been in such a situation before - to lose property is terrible, but to lose their children, too?
C. Simulation - Weighing the Options:
Organize into groups of five for this assignment.
Each group prepares its points for the three options [if you have at least ten minutes]; alternatively, have each group tackle a different option.
Compare and analyze the points.
Which were the strongest arguments? Which way would these parents have decided - and why?
What should Sarah and Aaron do? They are traditional Jews and wish to remain so; the problem is where they will live. Sum up the reasons for going to America / Eretz Yisrael / staying in Russia with a brief explanation.