Posted on November 19, 2012
We are all thinking about Israel during this challenging time and looking for ways to connect our students, children and families to the situation and to do something concrete to make a difference. This article below was published by CAJE in 2004 and I am posting it here because the ideas are still applicable. I welcome your feedback and will update this list with your suggestions.
This list contains program suggestions that will enable every age, audience, and intellectual ability to meaningfully relate to
A: Achdut: Show solidarity with
Advocacy: Develop a program that encourages and trains students on how to advocate on behalf of
Articles: Post articles on a bulletin board and in the classroom that relate to
Assemblies: Have assemblies that address the situation in
B: Bikkur Holim: Send cards and pictures to Israeli hospital patients.
Buy Israeli Products: Shop for Israeli products at the local supermarket, through
C: Call friends and family: Call just to talk or find out how school is going. Tell them you miss them and are thinking about them.
Celebrations: Utilize birthdays and B’nai Mitzvah to do mitzvah projects relating to
Club: Create an
Condolence Cards: Send condolence cards to families who have lost loved ones to terror.
D: Dedicate: Dedicate ten minutes a day to do something relating to
Dialogue: Establish a dialogue with other Jews, as well as non-Jews, about the various issues that relate to
E: E-mail or call the President: Voice your support for
Elective: Create an elective course, if one does not already exist, to address
F: Fact: Post an Israeli fact of the day in your class or in the school lobby.
Fair: Plan an
Flag: Make sure that every student has an Israeli flag and encourage them to hang it from his or her window and home.
G: Guest Speakers: Invite guest speakers in to speak about
H: Hachnasat Orchim: Host a visiting Israeli.
Help Out: Do whatever you can to help raise awareness about the situation in
I: Implement: Implement programs that relate to
J: Journal: Keep a journal of how you feel about
Justice: Make sure that
K: Keep: In order to keep
Knowledge: Arm yourself with knowledge about Israeli history, current events, culture, etc.
L: Letters to Israeli soldiers: Express your appreciation or send letters of encouragement to Israeli soldiers by sending your message by e-mail as an attachment to LettertoSoldier@jazo.org.il or by forwarding them to The Jewish Agency for Israel, 633 Third Avenue, 21st Floor, New York, NY, 10017. Be sure to include your name and address.
Letters to Senators and Representatives: Write letters of encouragement to Senators and Representatives — and even state and local officials — who have been supportive of
Lobby: Meet with local and national government officials on behalf of
M: Map: Buy a map of
Media Watch: Subscribe to any of the various media watch organizations.
Mission: Sponsor or participate in a mission to
N: Network: Form a network of colleagues or have students get together to share ideas, common issues and work together to see how you can help
Newspaper and Television: Read the newspaper and watch television with a special eye for reporting on
O: Organizations: Learn about the myriad of Israel-based organizations, adopt one, work together with them, and ask them how you can help them achieve their goals.
P: Paper: Write articles for your school or local paper about an Israel-related hesed program or your visit to
Parade: Plan a community wide parade to show support for
Pen pal: Establish pen pals with students in
Q: Quick Response: Develop a system to respond to emergency situations in
Quiz: Quiz students about their knowledge relating to
R: Rally: Organize or attend local, regional, and national rallies in support of
Research: Choose a particular city, historical event or politician and research it in depth.
S: Shabbat: Buy flowers or other gifts for victims of terror and families of IDF soldiers to brighten up their Shabbat.
Study: Put together a group that gathers monthly to study and talk about
T: Tefilla: Pay close attention when the Prayer for the State of Israel and its soldiers is being said. If you don’t understand the Hebrew, read the English. You can also say Tehillim (Psalms) on behalf of
Tzedakah: Give money (on a daily or regular basis) to one of the many important Israeli organizations.
U: Understand: Make an effort to understand what is currently going on in
V: Visit: Make plans to visit
Volunteer: Volunteer for one of the many Israel-related organizations within your community.
W: Wear: Wear clothing made in
Websites: Visit the various sites that deal with news from
X: Examine: Examine what you have done for
Extra-Curricular: Develop extra-curricular programs that enable students to learn more about
Y: Yemei Iyun: Develop intensive days within the curriculum that teach about Israeli history, politics, and current events.
Z: Zero Excuse: There is no valid excuse for not doing something for
Zionism: Think about how you define Zionism and what being a Zionist means to you.
One final suggestion: Assign students to develop their own list (from A to Z or 10 ways) of things that they can do to help
Daniel Rothner is the Founder and Director of Areyvut, an organization that seeks to formally integrate the values of chesed, tzedakah & tikkun olam into Jewish education. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; you can visit the Areyvut website at www.areyvut.org.