May 20, 2011

What is Good Israel Education?

Usually, when one crowdsources something, it's on Facebook or Twitter because answers are quick, immediate, short and to the point. But I thought I'd give it a go here. For those who have zero clue what I mean when I say crowdsource, here's the quick gist.

Crowdsourcing is a neologistic compound of Crowd and Outsourcing for the act of taking tasks traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and outsourcing them to a group of people or community, through an "open call" to a large group of people (a crowd) asking for contributions.
So here's the question I have to ask:

What is Good Israel Education?

Feel free to interpret the question at your discretion. But your answers will be put to use. Ready? Go!


Mark said...

I will interpret this as what information about Israel should be taught to Jewish youth.

I firmly believe in teaching them the historic, cultural, and spiritual connection Jews have to the land of Israel. This would include, but is not limited to, our long and prominent history there documented in the Bible, the religious connection to the land, the forces of zionism that led to the modern state as well as those that have threatened its existence, and the way the Jewish culture is celebrated in the country today.

However, education should also reflect the current stuggles in the state of Israel. They should know when a country's charter calls for genocide, it is hard to move forward. They should be taught that one does not negotiate with terrorists, even when they are behind a desk.

But they should also be taught that being a homeland for Jews does not come at the exclusion of other peoples. They should know that sovereignty does not excuse all actions, and that misuses of power are dangerous and destructive. They should learn that sometimes you do what you want, and sometimes you do what's right.

Mostly they should learn that no one is born hateful, and that recognizing each other as States can only come after recognizing each other as people.

Batya said...

If it's part of a Jewish education program, it should be connected to Parshat shavua, like this past one, in which G-d makes it clear that the Land of Israel must be treasured, used and properly cared for according to His Laws, or there will be dire punishment. Then "cross reference it" with Jewish History, how our Land has bloomed, thrived since Jews have returned.

Or are you asking what type of Israeli education is best? That's the education that combines traditional Jewish with all the modern accademic requirements.

Daphne said...

For those who live outside of Israe, I think it's important to take your kids to Israel at a young age -- and keep taking them back. Let them learn to love The Land (and all the good and bad that goes with it). Of course you can talk to your kids about Parsha and how its lessons tie into our lives, and you should talk to them about Israel's historical importance as well as current events, but in the end, there is nothing like a hands-on education.

Anonymous said...

The Curmudgeonly Israel Giyoret says:

As a high school student, my husband won a Chicago-wide contest for Israel knowledge. He said the preliminary test was hard, but the final test was a joke, and that really, he had not prepared for it at all, what he knew was "just" the result of 6 years of Schechter school, one year in Israel, Hebrew HIgh, and a lot of intelligent table talk with his family. (He credits the table talk most of all.)

He was basically appalled that he won. "There were kids who studied for this for WEEKS, and I walk in cold and win! Israel education here is in terrible shape!"

He was going to say that when they awarded him the Encyclopedia Judaica, but his mother convinced him that it would be ungracious.

thejewishteen said...

i tried to comment last night from my ipod then i did, but then it wanted me 2 type my whole comment again. anyway, pretty much what i said was how before 48 and state of israel the UN was deciededing were tocreate a state for the Jews. there were a lot of places that were options, madagascar, was one. random places in africa another, jews began going there, there are jewish communities in africa, with street signs in hebrew an all.

anyway the zionists said no way. we want eretz yisroel, we want the land that is holy, we want the land that has hte kotel and were are forefathers were barried etc. so thats what you need to empthasise, is how what makes israel special is the land itself. that large jewish communites like ny will never be eretz yisroel.

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