Israeli Cities-kiryat Shemona - -

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Resource Type: Peula in: English
Age: 8-14
Group Size: 10-50
Estimated Time: 45 minutes

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Resource Goal

Teach the reality of constant attack in Israel, as seen in Kiryat Shemona; Teach the history of the city, and of Tel Chai;


Required Props & Materials
Nerf Ball; two garbage bags filled with crumpled up newspaper wads; Superball or tennis ball

Resource Contents

Background: Kiryat Shemona is Israels northernmost city, located in the northern Galil. It is most often in the news for being attacked by Lebanese Ketusha rockets. Citizens of the city are among the most well trained Israelis in responding to attacks, as they occasionally find themselves under attack and must move to bomb shelters for the night. In fact the citys origin is also one of battle. It sits on the site of Halsa, the city from which the attack on Tel Chai was launched. In fact, the name Kiryat Shemona memorializes the eight defenders of Tel Chai, including Joseph Trumpel1dor, who were killed defending the city in 1920 against Arab attackers.

The city was founded in 1950. It was intended to be a financial center of northern Israel. However, many Jewish immigrants from Arab countries settled there, and since they were not used to Western society, the city never quite grew into this role. Instead, the new immigrants struggled to adjust to the values on the Socialist and European culture of the ruling class. It has a population of about 22,000.

Game 1: Atzor[1]

Have the chanichim stand in a circle. Assign each one a number in order. Chose one to begin as IT. S/he is given a nerf ball. It stands in the middle of the circle, throws the ball in the air and calls a number. Eveyrone scatters except the person whose number was called. This player is now IT and must immediately retrieve the ball and yell Atzor (Hebrew for stop.) All players must stop scattering and freeze in their tracks. The new IT then takes four giant steps toward another player while shouting out the four letters: Ayin, Tzadi, Vav, Reish. IT tries to hit a player below the waist with the ball. If that player is hit, he receives a letter (Ayin, Tzadi, Vav, Reish) and becomes the new IT. If the thrower misses, then the thrower gets a letter. People who get all four letters are eliminated from the game. After each round of play, players gather around IT, who has the ball, and play resumes.

If you feel that the game is too easy for IT, change the rules to give IT fewer or no steps with the ball. If you are playing in a room where one side has breakable objects, have the players start in a half circle along the fragile boundary, so that they all run in a direction away from that side.

Discussion: In this game we begin by running away from the ball. However, at a certain point we must stop, turn around, and defend our positions.The settlement of Tel Chai was built in the northernmost part of Israel in the 1910s. Like many settlements at that time, attackers beset Tel Chai. The Jews had very few defense capabilities. Often when areas were attacked, the Jewish settlers would abandon their positions and flee. Several settlements in the area were evacuated precisely for this reason. However, when Tel Chai was attacked in 1920, the settlers, led by Yosef Trumpeldor, chose to defend their town. Trumpeldor and seven other defenders were killed in the battle and the settlement was overrun. Nonetheless it was the first instance of the new Jewish settlers of Israel taking a stand against their enemy. As such, it became a symbol of Jewish defense, strength and bravery. A famous monument of a roaring lion was built on the site where these Jews chose, for the first time, to take a stand against attackers and defend their positions. Trumpeldor is famous for having said, with his dying breaths, It is good to die for ones country.

Game 2: Kova Tembel[2]

Have all the odd numbers from the last game go to one side of the room, while all the evens go to the opposite side. Have them arrange their chairs in rows of 5 or 6 each, all facing towards the middle. (or you could have them sit on the floor.) Chose one person on each team to be the Tembel (meaning Dunce in Hebrew.) This person must put a bowl on his head and sits in the back row. Each team is given a supply on ammo, ie a garbage bag full of crumbled up pieces of newspaper. (Do this before Shabbat, to make sure there is no chilul Shabbat). All players must stay seated in one spot throughout the game.

The object of the game is to knock the cup off the head of the other teams tembel with wadded newspaper. The tembel cannot use his hands in any way, but other team members can bat down flying paper bombs as long as their seats dont leave the floor. A point is scored each time a team knocks off the other teams Kova Tembel.

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Discussion (games 2-3): After the State of Israel was established, a new city was founded in the far north, close to where Tel Chai stood. It was named Kiryat Shemona after the eight people who died defending Tel Chai. The city is very scenic and green, with museums and monuments. However, it is most often in the news for something much less pleasant: because the city is so far in the north, along the border with Lebanon, it has often been attacked by Hisbollah, bombarded with Ketusha rockets, etc. Because of this, the residents of Kiryat Shemona occasionally have to sleep in bomb shelters. This situation is part of the general mindset of Israel, especially now all parts of the country are under attack. However, especially in Kiryat Shemona they are accustomed to this lifestyle. Think about how your life would differ if you had to live this way. This is one reason why both peace and security are so important to Israelis.

Game 3: Bombouncement[3]

Divide the kids into two groups, and direct the groups to opposite sides of a room. Designate a center line. Players on one side of the line will try to eliminate players on the other side by bouncing a super ball (or a tennis ball) near an opposing player. That target must try to catch the ball after it has bounced. If the ball is caught, the game continues without penalty or award. If the ball is missed, the fumbling player joins the opposite team. If a player has a ball bounced nearby but far enough away that even an honest effort cant produce contact, the throw is void. If players fail to try to catch a ball bounced within their grasp, they join the other side.



[1] Lynn, David. Great Games for 4th-6th Graders p. 61

[2] ibid, p. 81

[3] Rohnke, Karl. On the Edge Games for Youth Ministry p. 92



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