Israeli Cities- Modi’in - òøéí áéùøàì- îåãéòéï
Group Size: 10-50
Estimated Time: 45 minutes
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Teach about the development of cities in Israel; importance of location; things needed for a successful city;
Flags for Capture the Flag; 12+ empty soda bottles; 2-3 rubber balls for gaga; Cards with city elements;
Background: Since settlers began coming to Israel, it has been a challenge to build new cities for them to live in. Many moved to Kibbutzim and Moshavim, while others moved to old centers and new suburbs, such as Tel Aviv and the New City of Jerusalem. In 1989, the Israeli government decided that a new urban center was needed. The hired a famous architect, Moshe Safdie, to design this new city, to house 220,000 people, and contain some important components: industry, houses, culture, retail, etc. 50% of the area is put aside for parks. It is about halfway between Tel Aviv and Yerushalayim, in the middle of the country. This makes it an advantageous location. You may also recognize Modi’in from the Chanuka story, as it was the area of the ancient home of the Chashmonaim. Indeed, their tombs are located in the area. Although people only began moving into Modi’in in 1996, it was a Nachal outpost for much longer.
Game 1: City Planning
Divide the chanichim into two teams. Send them all to one side of the room, and on the other side put out the cut out cards enclosed. (Make sure to cut them out before Shabbat!) Each team must get in line. When you say go, the first person in line for each team runs across the room and can pick up one of the cards on the ground. Tell them that on one hand, they should find a card with something that is important to have in a city, but on the other hand, if they take a long time finding a card, the other team will be able to get more cards. Once all the card have been picked up, have each team sit down and put their cards in order of importance to have in a city. Feel free to make up your own cards, or add more Jewish ones in you feel that is appropriate.
Discussion: When Jews began coming to Israel, there weren’t very many cities around. A few old cities existed, but all of them needed a lot of work to be made livable, and all were very small. The Jewish settlers rebuilt and expanded the cities, building neighborhoods like Tel Aviv and the New City of Jerusalem. However, there is always a need for new cities and houses. In 1989, the Israeli government decided to build a brand new city, called Modi’in. They hired a famous architect to plan this city and make sure to plan it carefully, so that all the important things in a city would be a part. In America we don’t often build brand-new cities anymore, but this type of planning is still an important part of Israel’s developing landscape.
Game 2: Capture the Flag
Divide the playing area into two separate territories. Divide the chanichim into two teams, and send each one to one of the territories. Each team is given a flag of some sort to place on their side. You can decide whether the flags should be hidden or out in the open. In addition, each team should have a jail. The goal is to capture the other team’s flag. However, once you cross into their territory, you can be tagged by the other team and sent to jail. Play ends when one team succeeds in getting the opponent’s flag onto their territory.
Game 3: Gaga variation
Divide the chanichim into a minimum of three teams. Each team should have up to five players. Give each team about 6 empty soda bottles (you could increase or decrease the number as appropriate, but it’s best if each team has a separate type of soda). Instruct each team that they can arrange their bottles on the ground in any way they like, but that they must defend the bottles without touching them once the game begins. Once each team has chosen a location for its bottles (they don’t have to be together), a game of gaga begins. Play with 2-3 rubber balls. Players can only hit the ball with their fists, and if the ball hits them anywhere else, they are out. However, the goal of the game is not to get people out, but rather to knock down the opponents’ bottles. Each team works together to protect their bottles and knock down the other bottles. They can do this however they like. Whichever team has a bottle left standing wins.
Discussion (games 2-3): When designing a city, it is also very important to take into consideration not only what is in it, but also where it is. In these two games strategy was employed to pick bases and arrange the bottles. Teams may have found some arrangements were better than others. The same applies to locating a city. Firstly, cities often develop where there are natural resources, such as ports of mines. However, in the case of Modi’in other things were taken into account. The city is located exactly between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the two major cities in Israel. This was done to allow people to live in Modi’in but stay close to these other cities. In addition, in Israel another important factor in building cities is historical significance. In the case of Modi’in, the city is famous for being the home of the Chashmonaim from the Chanuka story.
Mifkad: At Mifkad, you can ask some of the kids what they think are the most important things to have in a city. Tell them that when they plan their Aliya (which, of course, they will do one day) they will have to decide where in Israel they want to live, and a large part of this will be where the cities are located and what is in them. You might mention a city or two where you would want to live, and explain why you like those cities. A good resource for this is Tehilla, a religious Aliya organization that gives summaries of all the places in Israel you might want to move to and what each community has. http://www.tehilla.com/haut/bayit/List%20of%20Communities/index.html