We live in a time when Zionism is often under attack and misunderstood in Israel and in the world at large. Whereas the previous generation of Diaspora Jews lived in a community in which support for Israel was almost taken for granted, many of today’s students will go on to college campuses where the Jewish student community is often confused about its commitment to Israel and Zionism because of the hostile environment that has been created. At the same time, many students have little understanding of Zionism, which makes it all the more difficult to overcome the misinformation that pervades the media.
The “Hayinu Kecholmim” (“We Were as Dreamers”) program is an informal education program developed by the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, designed to help students clarify what Zionism is and how it relates to their own lives.
The program includes three units and a culminating activity:
Unit I: Zionist Dreams – What are the many different legitimate views of what Zionism and what are your own perceptions of Zionism?
- Lesson 1: Zionist Images
- Lesson 2: What is Zionism? – A Historical Perspective
- Lesson 3: Who is a Zionist? – Contemporary Approaches
Unit II: Colliding Dreams How do my values of Zionism, clarified in unit 1, come into conflict in real life situations? Although the Arab-Israeli conflict is part of the backdrop of the unit, how can I analyze the conflicting visions within Zionism and their implications?
- Lesson 1: Colliding Zionist Dreams
- Lesson 2: Separation? – A Simulated U.N. Challenge
- Lesson 3: Why not Uganda? – A Historical Perspective
Unit III: Dreams and Reality – After seeing the potential for values conflict within the Zionist dream, how do I examine three realities that have forced many Zionists to reconcile conflicting values?
- A State for the Jews? – The Law of Return
- A State of the Jews? – Israel’s Relationship to Diaspora Jews
- A Jewish State? – Jewish Values and the IDF
The program utilizes a values clarification approach, designed not to teach or indoctrinate a specific value, but rather to expose students to information and activities that help them examine and clarify their personal values in a non-judgmental environment. Presented on a Haiku Learning Management System (LMS) in order to promote a high degree of interactivity, and to allow for flexibility in the presentation, “Hayinu Kecholmim” is presented as a blended learning program – facilitated by the classroom teacher with the help of the online tools embedded in the LMS, or as a distance learning program.
For who? Grades 7-12.
How many lessons?
- The program is designed to be completed in 9 class sessions, but can also be effectively presented in an abbreviated 3-5 session alternative using a flipped classroom approach.
- The interactive LMS, allows for use of a flipped classroom approach. This provides flexibility for the teacher to reduce the number of in-class hours by having students complete many of the tasks independently.
- The pilot is available as a 9-session mini-course or an abbreviated 3-5 session mini-course.
How are lessons delivered?
- Lessons can be facilitated by the classroom teacher, using the activities and lesson plans as a blended learning program. All course materials and activities are included in the LMS, minimizing preparation time.
- The program can also be piloted as a distance learning program, in which case, the program will be facilitated by a JETS teacher online.
What do students need to participate? Devices with wifi: Computer lab, Laptops, Chromebooks, or tablets. JETS will provide tech support to help the set up in school and troubleshoot any issues.
Is training provided? Yes. JETS will also provide individual support for instructors beyond the teacher’s guide through online consultations and e-mail communication.
What is the cost? $250 per year – includes the 9-session curriculum, teacher training and both educational and technology support.