Israel from A-Z

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.

Jewish Education News- Winter 2004

Israel from A-Z
by Daniel Rothner


This list contains program suggestions that will enable every age, audience, and intellectual ability to meaningfully relate to Israel. It is important to get your students involved and empower them to address Israel on an ongoing basis. Many of these ideas relate to one another and can be done individually or as part of a larger project. Choose the ideas that will best meet the needs of your students.

A: Achdut: Show solidarity with Israelby wearing a blue ribbon or pin or displaying an Israeli flag.

Advocacy: Develop a program that encourages and trains students on how to advocate on behalf of Israel.

Articles: Post articles on a bulletin board and in the classroom that relate to Israel.

Assemblies: Have assemblies that address the situation in Israel. Invite visiting Israeli politicians or representatives of organizations that deal directly with Israel to present to your class or the school.

B: Bikkur Holim: Send cards and pictures to Israeli hospital patients.

Buy Israeli Products: Shop for Israeli products at the local supermarket, through Israel fairs, and through the various websites selling Israeli products.

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 Israel.

Club: Create an Israelclub, if one does not already exist, to address Israel related topics.

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 Israel. Choose any idea and just do it. Do not delay because you are not sure what project to do.

Dialogue: Establish a dialogue with other Jews, as well as non-Jews, about the various issues that relate to Israel.

E: E-mail or call the President: Voice your support for Israel and express your appreciation for his support of Israel. You can e-mail President Bush at or call him at 202.456.1111.

Elective: Create an elective course, if one does not already exist, to address Israel on a regular basis.

F: Fact: Post an Israeli fact of the day in your class or in the school lobby.

Fair: Plan an Israelfair that sells Israeli products benefiting the Israeli economy.

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 Israel. Politicians, religious figures, victims of terror or “average” Israelis can convey important messages to the students.

H: Hachnasat Orchim: Host a visiting Israeli.

Help Out: Do whatever you can to help raise awareness about the situation in Israel.

I: Implement: Implement programs that relate to Israel. For example, start an Israeli dance hug, read works from Israeli writers or get together to watch Israeli films while eating Israeli foods.

Israel Today: Check an online Israeli newspaper daily. Discuss Israel every night at the dinner table. Talk about what happened today and what you can do.

J: Journal: Keep a journal of how you feel about Israel and the current situation.

Justice: Make sure that Israelis viewed justly in your community.

K: Keep: In order to keep Israelon your mind, physically do something that reminds you about Israel. Whether it’s setting your watch to Israeli time or wearing a kipa or sandals made in Israel, find something that will help you maintain a physical connection to Israel.

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 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 Israelin any way. The letters should be personal and to the point, signed with respect and a valid address.

Lobby: Meet with local and national government officials on behalf of Israel.

M: Map: Buy a map of Israeland study it. When something in Israeltakes place, make sure you know where it is located so that you can properly relate to the events.

Media Watch: Subscribe to any of the various media watch organizations.

Mission: Sponsor or participate in a mission to Israel.

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 Israel.

Newspaper and Television: Read the newspaper and watch television with a special eye for reporting on Israeland the Middle East. Write letters of objection to those whose support for or coverage of Israel has been less than adequate. Such letters should be respectful and to the point. The goal is not to berate, but to persuade.

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 Israel.

Parade: Plan a community wide parade to show support for Israel.

Pen pal: Establish pen pals with students in Israel and communicate regularly throughout the year.

Q: Quick Response: Develop a system to respond to emergency situations in Israel.

Quiz: Quiz students about their knowledge relating to Israel.

R: Rally: Organize or attend local, regional, and national rallies in support of Israel.

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 Israel.

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 Israel and victims of terror.

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 Israel.

V: Visit: Make plans to visit Israelwithin the next year.

Volunteer: Volunteer for one of the many Israel-related organizations within your community.

W: Wear: Wear clothing made in Israel.

Websites: Visit the various sites that deal with news from Israel, Israeli organizations, and Israeli culture.

X: Examine: Examine what you have done for Israelin the past month and ways you can address Israel in the coming month.

Extra-Curricular: Develop extra-curricular programs that enable students to learn more about Israel and encourage them to make an impact.

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 Israel.

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 Israel. Their lists may surprise you and you can utilize the suggestions to continue their involvement.

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; you can visit the Areyvut website at

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