Atlit -

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Resource Type: Peula in: English
Age: 15-17
Group Size: 10-40
Estimated Time: 45 minutes

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Resource Goal

Goal: To get the chanichim to think about:

1-the challenges of Aliyah throughout history in different generations, from the time of Olei Bavel until today, and what lesson can be taken for our lives.

2-the specific hardships encountered by the immigrants detained in Atlit and why their situation was particularly difficult and historically important.

Resource Contents

Atlit Peula

(Note: Although this peula was designed specifically for Atlit, it can be run in any location where aliyah is being discussed.)

Advanced Preparation: Print out one copy of each of the four sheets below, as well as the memoir at the bottom.

Goal: To get the chanichim to think about:

1-the challenges of Aliyah throughout history in different generations, from the time of Olei Bavel until today, and what lesson can be taken for our lives.

2-the specific hardships encountered by the immigrants detained in Atlit and why their situation was particularly difficult and historically important.

Intro: Break the chanichim into 4 groups. Any creative game can be done. The way we did it was to get everyone into a circle and ask each chanich/a to remove one shoe and throw it into a big pile in the middle. Then they were asked to close their eyes and we deposited the shoes into four spread out piles and they were told they had to hop and find their shoes and stand next to their pile, which became their group.

Activity: Each group got one of the four sheets below describing a different period of aliyah and was given 5-10 minutes to prepare a short skit with the information provided. Gauge the attention span of the kids to see exactly how much time is needed. Have each group present their skit.

-You may want to have Atlit group go last. As they finish, one madrich should be prepared with the memoireither to recite or retell it, and should get up without hesitation or advanced warning (to keep the kids attentions) and begin the story. This will give the chanichim a better sense of what it felt like to be in Atlit.

Sikkum: Depending on the nature of the group and the counselor availability split the chanichim back into groups for a wrap-up (try to mix up the original groups so that some from each skit will be in each discussion group.) or bring everyone together for a madrich to summarize. Ask the chanichim to try to restate and then compare and contrast the various challenges that each aliyah faced. Make sure they got all the main points (and any skits that werent great make sure to clarify.)

Discussion points:

A-The aliyot can be broken down into two categories: 1-aliyah from persecution (Atlit, Operation Moses) and 2-aliyah for ideological reasons (Bavel and modern day), and this is a very important distinction that should be noted and discussed. Which is harder? How so?

B-Realizing that we dont have to move because of persecution, how should this affect our thinking about aliyah? What really are the challenges? What can we learn from history?

C-By taking a survey of various aliyot through history, we see that despite the unique hardships that each generation was faced with people persevered and made aliyah and fought to start their lives in Israel. This should be a lesson and inspiration for us all

Make a short skit, 2 minutes or less, about your aliyah voyage and the hardships that you faced using the following categories of information:

Some of you are young married (YU/Stern) couples, some are still single and just graduated (secular) college

Period: Summer 2006

Where you are from: North America

Why you left: Religious/ideological/social reasons. Belief in Israel as the future of the Jewish people, and the true homeland of all Jews. Bnei Akiva. Idealism. Use your lovely imaginations.

How you got to : Nefesh BNefesh paid for your flight

Hardships you faced: Leaving your family and friends in the U.S., relinquishing your aspirations for wealth, learning Hebrew, getting a job in Israel, social life, fitting in to Israeli society. Any other reason that you currently do not live in Israel

Suggested names for characters: Josh, Michal, Kelly

Words that MUST be used in your skit: Israair, Mach Hach, shidduch

Quote that MUST be used:

-What do you mean theres no more Abercrombie?!

Make a short skit, 2 minutes or less, about your aliyah voyage and the hardships that you faced using the following categories of information:

You are one big family with many children of ages ranging from 2-16

Aliyah: Operation Moses, named after the biblical figure Moses, was the covert removal of Ethiopian Jews from Sudan during a famine in 1984.

Who you are: Presumed to be one of the ancient lost tribes, living in Ethiopia from before Second Temple times, they were a people who studied the Torah, who were strictly observant in pre-Talmudic traditions and remembered the time when Jerusalem was mighty.

Why you left: From generation to generation the Ethiopian Jews would talk of that day, somehow, when the people would come and lead them back to their ancient homeland of Eretz Yisrael. Also, the conditions in Ethiopia were terrible, they were suffering from starvation, poverty, disease, religious persecution and discrimination etc.

How you got to : It involved the air transport of some 8,000 Ethiopian Jews from Sudan directly to Israel in the course of six weeks. Living in an uncivilized country, they had never before seen an airplane and thought that the prophecy of vaesa etchem al kanfei nesharim-I shall carry you on the wings of eagles was being fulfilled.

Hardships you faced: Thousands fled Ethiopia on foot for refugee camps in Sudan. It is estimated as many as 4,000 died during the trek. The seats were taken out of planes and they were crammed in by the hundreds. They were leaving illegally and when the Arab nations found out the operation was forced to cease.

Suggested names for characters:

ABAYNESH-female given name meaning "Like the Nile"

CHAMASHWORK- a female given name meaning "golden shoes"

KABEDE-male given name meaning "heavy and strong"

ZALELEW-male given name meaning jump

Words that MUST be used in your skit:

-Lost Tribe



Quote that MUST be used:

Vaesah etchem al kanfei nesharim

Airplane? What the heck is an airplane?

Make a short skit, 2 minutes or less, about your aliyah voyage and the hardships that you faced using the following categories of information:

You are all from different families, some children and some adults who have been split up from the rest of their family.

Aliyah: Aliyah Bet, the Haapala-Illegal immigration during the British Mandate.

When: Began in 1934 and continued until the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.

Who you are: Tens of thousands of Jews, including Holocaust refugees from Europe and survivors of persecutions in Arab countries.

Why you left: After liberation from concentration camps, all you could dream of was the Land of Milk and Honey, a place where Jews could live in safety and harmony. You were hoping to escape persecution and restart your lives in Eretz Yisrael.

How you got to : You came by every conceivable route, by air, by sea and by land, some 122,000 Maapilim, about 20% of the entire population of Eretz Israel prior to Israel's independence.

Hardships you faced: After your long, difficult journeys, eagerly awaiting your arrival in Israel, when you land, you find yourself in Atlit.

The Atlit detention camp was constructed by the British Mandate in Eretz Israel, at the end of the 1930s, as a military camp on the Mediterranean coast. It was converted by them between 1939-1948 to a detention camp for illegal immigrants who found themselves, yet again, incarcerated behind barbed wire, but this time on the soil of Eretz Israel - illegal immigrants who were caught after a struggle while arriving by any and every route

Suggested names for characters:

-Shraga Feivel


-Freida Mushka


Words that MUST be used in your skit:

-Concentration camp

-Barbed wire

-Illegal immigration

Quote that MUST be used:

Make a short skit, 2 minutes or less, about your aliyah voyage and the hardships that you faced using the following categories of information:

It is the time of . You and your family are making Aliyah.

Where you are from: Bavel

Why you came to EY: Koresh, king of Persia announced in 538 BCE that Hashem assigned Koresh a mission to build a house for Hashem in Yerushalayim, and allowed (and encouraged) the Jews to return to their homeland to build a temple to the Lord in Jerusalem. However, most of your family and friends remained in Bavel.

How you got there: Camel? Foot? Come up with a creative mode of transportation that fits with negative 6th century society.

Hardships you faced going and upon arrival:

a) The journey-through the scorching desert

b) Leaving the comfort of life in Bavel where you had nice homes, a comfortable life, established yeshivot, friends and family.

b) Economic issues. There was a drought for a few years after you arrived.

d) Safety issues. The wall around Yerushalayim was ruined from the destruction.

Suggested names for characters:

Bigvai, Hodavia, Talmon

Quote that MUST be used:

But how can I leave my lovely fields irrigated so nicely by the Euphrates?

Memoir from Atlit

As we approached the shore, the blaze of the lights expanded. The city of Haifa and its neighborhoods could be seen in their entire splendor. We were filled with pride and satisfaction to see a Hebrew city bustling with life.

A dream comes true.

When the ship was maneuvering her entrance into the port, we were standing crowded on the deck, we saw a small motorboat aboard in which were four persons waving their hands welcoming us to Eretz Israel.

After a lot of maneuvers the ship managed to cast anchor in the harbor. The date was January 1st 1947. We really arrived. We were sure that we would soon get off the ship free and happy. But the British thought otherwise. We were still under guard. We had to obey the instructions of the British army. We could not understand what was going on. We asked ourselves: are we still prisoners? Why should we board British lorries accompanied by British guards? Where are the Jewish Agency people? Dont they know about our arrival? Where are our friends from Mizra whom we were sure would come to welcome us? It was a weird reception that we could not understand.

Later on we heard that the British closed the port and did not let civilians come in, especially not Jews. They had their own reasons for that blockade. Disappointed, enclosed in a British ship, escorted by four British guards, we left the first Hebrew harbor with mixed feelings. We were happy to at last be in Eretz Israel, but angry with the British who did not set us free. We were once again going to an unknown destination. We peeped out through any crack or opening to see the surroundings and get impressions. The escorting soldiers were courteous and polite. They told us that the journey would not be long. In a little while we would arrive at the final destination a detainees camp for illegal entrees called Atlit.

We were astonished and shocked by the fact that the British held a detainees camp of Jews in Eretz Israel. We revolted and shouted: why are we again locked in a camp? We were released and got entrance permits from the British. We are in Eretz Israel. Could it be a mistake? It is unreasonable.

The British soldiers answer was: you are not free yet. Meanwhile you will be in Atlit camp until your turn to be set free comes, and the British Mandate government only allots that according to the quota of permits. Meanwhile all the permits have been detained as retaliation for the Hebrew Community protest actions against the deportations to Cyprus and the British forbidding the immigration of the Holocaust survivors to Eretz Israel.

We arrived at Atlit camp and were shocked over again. We were in a real prisoners camp. Huge fences, guard towers manned by armed soldiers and long neglected wooden buildings. The sight reminded us of the not so distant past that we wanted so much to be free of. Our disappointment was harsh and bitter.

We had no choice but to resign ourselves to the new situation. We were comforted by the fact that at least we were in Eretz Israel and we hoped that our stay in the camp would be temporary and short.

In the camp we met hundreds, maybe thousands of detainees that had come before us. The population consisted of people from many countries and ages. Most of the people were lonely. There were very few families with children. The atmosphere in the camp was gloomy. Just the fact that once again, we, Holocaust survivors, were segregated in a crowded camp without a daily organized schedule brought us back to the days from which we wanted to be cut off


Relevant Links:
1. Atlit
Related Resources can be found under:

» All > Eretz Yisrael > Aliya

» All > Eretz Yisrael > General

» All > Eretz Yisrael > Places in Israel > General

» All > Eretz Yisrael > Zionism

» All > History > General

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