A Little Too At Home...

File details:

Resource Type: Peula in: English
Age: 14-18
Group Size: 20-60
Estimated Time: 75 minutes

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Resource Goal

The chanichim will recognize the powerful influence the culture we live in has on our lives, and on our values.


Required Props & Materials

Videotapes of Honesdale kids and TVI kids being asked If you could meet anyone who has ever lived, who would it be? and If you could choose to be someone else for a day, who would it be?; questionnaires


Resource Contents

1. Chanichim will be seated in Beit Knesset, split into groups with madrichim assigned to each group. A Madrich will introduce the video as a peek into modern American values, asking the chanichim to analyze what values underlie the answers that the people in the video give. What do the people interviewed reveal about what they think is important in life by the answers they give? How is this different from what we, as Jews, value?

2. After the video, chanichim will discuss these questions with the madrichim. What do they think about the values that these kids are expressing? Is it typical of an American teenager today? Is it good- is it in line with the Jewish way of thinking about values and about whats important? Madrichim should finish the sicha by making the point that its such a tragedy that assimilated Jews have adapted these values in place of Jewish ones (chanichim will hopefully nod sympathetically, feeling how sad the lot of those assimilated Jews are)

3. Show the second videotape, of these kids answering similar questions. After the video, before discussion, give them the questionnaire, comparing knowledge of secular subjects and Torah subjects.

4. After they fill out the questionnaire, discuss again in groups-- How different were the responses in the 2 videos? What values did our kids reflect? Were they the Torah values we had spoken of, or the secular values we saw in the first video? What about the questionnaire- were they more confident in the Torah section or the secular section? So- we spoke about those poor assimilated Jews, and how theyre sucked into secular culture. But we often think that we are totally immune. We dont realize how affected we are by the culture we live in (one example that always come to mind- how different do we look from everyone else at Hershey Park? The girls from the ultra-frum camp are very recognizableare we?). This is a natural part of Galut- in our history, either we are being persecuted, or, if were not, were assimilating. Its the natural result of being a minority within someone elses land. In order to appreciate the tremendous potential and gift we have in Eretz Yisrael, we need to also understand how living in Galut negatively affects us. Now that we have, we can look at the positive side of the coin- living in Israel.



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