Aliyaah - Not As It Seems

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Resource Type: Peula in: Engels
Age: 6-9
Group Size: 5-30
Estimated Time: 90 minutes

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Resource Goal

Since different countries have completely different cultures and languages, making aliyah can be very difficult for these people; But they still do.

Resource Contents

Aliyah not as easy as it seems

Topic: Aliyah

Written by: Norman Winter

Age Group: Taf (1-3) and Aleph

For most of us, to get to Israel all we have to do is get on a plane. It wasnt so easy for most of our history, though. For many years, Jews were not allowed in. Sometimes it is hard to appreciate how hard it was for so many people now living in Israel to make Aliyah (and maybe how comparatively easy it is for us?). Here are a couple of games to demonstrate that idea.

The Octopus Game (or The British and Aliyah Bet)

Aliyah Bet was the illegal immigration into Israel (or Palestine) during the British Mandate. The British had set a very small quota for Jewish immigration, so Jews wanting to get to Israel had to sneak in. Every Jew who was caught was sent to a camp, usually in Cypress. Many Jews were turned away. Thousands of Jews made it through, though.

Everyone lines up against one wall except for one chanich/a, who is the British boat. When the British yells go (or any other more original word than that), every Jewish boat must try to run across to the other side of the room (Mediterranean Sea) without being tagged. If someone is tagged, this chanich/a is now part of the British and must hold hands with the British boat and try to tag Jewish boats as they run across the room the next time.


-if you dont have enough kids in your group to play this game, try joining up with another group

-different rounds could be different time periods through history, for example: Babylonians, Romans, etc.

-to make it more challenging, the British boats might have to close their eyes, or stand still

Even after the State of Israel was established, many people could still not get out of their own countries to get to Israel. For example: Russian Jews, Ethiopian Jews, and Jews from Yemen. Israel has therefore made many rescue missions: Operation Magic Carpet (Yemen), Operation Solomon (Ethiopia)

The Cultures Game

Even in todays Israel, it can be very difficult for people from very different cultural backgrounds to adjust.

Split your chanichim into 2 groups. Tell one group that different words or motions mean one thing, and tell the other group that these same words or motions mean the opposite or something completely different. (eg: tell group A that waving means hello and tell group B that waving means Im going to kill you. Tell group A that touching your nose means I am getting angry, group B that it means You are funny). Then have the two groups get together and try to communicate, using only the signals taught.


-play this game with another kvutzah, working out the languages with the other madrichim/ot ahead of time.

-have the chanichot/im make up their own languages

This is like what its like when people from different countries make aliyah. Since different countries have completely different cultures and languages, making aliyah can be very difficult for these people; But they still do.

Related Resources can be found under:
» Alles > Eretz Yisrael > Aliya
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