Can You Be A Zionist In Chutz Laaretz? - öéåðé áçå"ì?
Group Size: 10-50
Estimated Time: 45 minutes
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Objective: The chanichim will realize the complexity and the different sides of the issue of who is a real Zionist. Namely, that an American sending money to support the State of Israel, though important, today may not be considered by everyone to be a real Zionist.
Who is the ultimate wizard? Have four chanichim each take on the role of 1 of 4 Harry Potter characters, have them present themselves to the group and then have the group debate who they think is the ultimate wizard. You could discuss power, ethics, smart, brave, sneaky, resourceful, etc….
The 4 characters will be: Harry Potter, Hermoine Granger, Ron Weasly and Draco Malfoy.
The point is for the kids to have fun and to start thinking in the form of debating and abstract thinking.
Let the chanichim debate for about 5-6 minutes. Play devil’s advocate, and keep it exciting.
Then point out to the chanichim that maybe at the beginning they all came into the sicha thinking that it was very easy who the best wizard was, but after debating and hearing their friends’ opinions, maybe they changed their minds or saw that the issue is complex.
So too for older children, tell the chanichim that they are now going to switch the debate into talking about who is the ultimate Zionist, and here too the answer is not clear cut or obvious. It’s a complex issue with different sides to all opinions.
Trigger: Four Faces of Zionism (adapted from a sicha by Aliza Teplitsky)
Divide the chanichim up into small groups. Give each group the four profiles and have them read them over. Explain to the chanichim that these four characters are siblings whose father has just passed away. He said in his will that he would give his huge fortune to whoever of the four children was most Zionist, and then each of the other children would also get gifts depending on the order of their Zionism (#1 gets huge fortune, #2 big gift, #3 smaller gift, #4 tiny gift). But he didn’t define what he thought the most Zionistic person to be!
Each of them in their small groups has to put the four characters in order of who they think is the most Zionist, who the 2nd most, and so forth. (Give the chanichim the 4 award ribbons that they should give to each character accordingly).
(Note: You could run this as a debate like the Harry Potter trigger, if you think it would work better that way, and if you think your kids will be able to handle it or if they want a change of pace).
Have each of the groups present their order and who they thought the most Zionist character was and why, and then open it up for group discussion. Which person is the most Zionist? Which is the least Zionist? The hadracha should act as moderators.
The chanichim although they are younger, should be able to get into this sicha. But it will need a lot of hadracha participation. Challenge the kids on the questions and points they are making – play devil’s advocate. Encourage all the kids to debate this. Ask pointed questions and throw in comments to steer the discussion. The point here is to get the chanichim thinking and talking.
I. Points to bring up:
What is more important?
· Serving in the army/believing in Zionism or actually living in
- Sending money/political support or your presence in
by living there. Israel
- What you believe in your heart, or where you actually live?
- Setting a dugma (make Aliyah) or teach others but stay back in
-How much are the people who are in
-Shira may not believe in Zionism, but at the end of the day she lives there! What’s more Zionist then that? (There’s an anecdote told in “To Dwell in the Palace” where a Zionist living in New Jersey calls up his sister whose Chareidi, doesn’t believe in Zionism but lives in Israel, and tells her, his son is going to Israel for the year and he doesn’t want him going to visit her because her anti-Zionism will rub off on him. She responds: “Anti-Zionism? I live in
-Interesting facts: When Ezra tried to get the Jews to return to
II. Tying it into the theme of the day:
Ask the chanichim: What if
Who was Baron de Rothschild and what did he do? (See if they remember from the tochnit yom). Baron de Rothschild sent lots of money that supported and sustained Rosh Pina, Zichron Ya’akov and Rishon LeTzion. Without his money and support these settlements would not have survived!!! But at the saw time the Baron called his home
Today is the situation different then with the Baron? Today can the settlements and the State of
Are Americans in chutz la’aretz who send money and visit but don’t make Aliyah real Zionists??
What is the role of American Jewry today? To give money or make Aliyah??
Firstly, there is no clear real answer. Since the four characters were very complex, probably none of them fit the chanichim's stereotype of an ideal Zionist. Is there an ideal Zionist? Unclear. Of course we want to push Aliyah but it is important to show that there are many reasons people do not make Aliyah and for them that is a valid life choice and no one choice is necessarily more Zionist than the other.
Additionally, the chanichim should be rethinking the role of Americans living in chutz la’aretz and sending money and support instead of making Aliyah. Yes, support is needed, but
Finally, it’s good for chanichim to be thinking about these issues, and for them to see and hear other people’s opinions. It is an important discussion to have, no? Good luck!
Yair from Tel Aviv:
Yair believes he is the ultimate Zionist because he lives in
Shira from Beitar:
Shira believes that she is the ultimate Zionist, because even if she doesn’t believe in Zionism, she lives in
Dov believes that he is the ultimate Zionist because even though he lives in America, he really wants to live in Israel, but lives in
Yael believes that she is the ultimate Zionist because even though she lives in America, she believes she can help
You can use this for younger children, if you feel they need a better trigger to help them segway into discussing who the ultimate Zionist is in the 4 faces of Zionism trigger/sicha.
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