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Connecting to the Land of Israel Through Chesed (11.2.10)


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Connecting to the Land of Israel Through Chesed (11.2.10)

  1. 1. Shira HammermanAreyvutNovember 2, 2010CONNECTING TO THE LAND OFISRAEL THROUGH CHESED
  2. 2. Goals To introduce service learning as an approach for teaching about Israel. To explore the process of service learning. To provide examples and resources that will aid in the implementation of service learning as a tool for teaching about Israel.
  3. 3. Session OutlineI IntroductionsII Answering the “Whys”III What is Service Learning?IV Using Service Learning to Enhance Israel EducationV Examples and ResourcesV I What is Areyvut?
  4. 4. Why Chesed?: A Torah ValueDeuteronomy 16:20Righteousness, righteousness you shall pursue.Micah 6:8He told you what is good and what Hashem demands of you - nothingmore than to act justly, love kindness and walk modestly with yourGod.Talmud Yoma 38:BThe righteous are the foundations of the world.Rambam, Hilchot Shabbat 2:3We have learned that the purpose of the Torah is not for revenge, but,rather to bring mercy, kindness and peace to the world.
  5. 5. Why Chesed?: Positive Effects of Community Service Increases civic-mindedness Increases sense of social responsibility volunteerism Decreased stress Increased interpersonal skills Exposure to others empathy, open- mindednessSource: University of Michigan, Benefits of Student Participation in Community Service
  6. 6. Why Teach About Israel? Israel education is central to the missions of many day schools. Building a relationship to Israel can start from the day children enter school. Teaching about Israel is becoming more and more important as more and more American Jews become detached from Israel.
  7. 7. Why Use Chesed to Teach AboutIsrael? Israel education should “focus on Israel as a presence rather than a problem” (Chazan, 2000). Israel education should focus on real issues regarding life in Israel rather than just advocacy or politics. Israel education needs to be age-appropriate; harnessing young children’s desire to help others can help them connect in a developmentally appropriate way.
  8. 8. How Do You Teach About Chesed andAbout Israel?
  9. 9. Why Use Service Learning toTeach About Israel? We are looking to build connections to Israel AND increase knowledge about Israel. We are in need of a systematic approach to Israel education that incorporates enculturation as well as instruction. Service learning is an approach that adds meaning and knowledge.
  10. 10. Service Learning:A Useful Teaching Tool“Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integratesmeaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrichthe learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthencommunities. An exciting, hands-on approach to education, service-learning is taking place in a wide variety of settings: schools,universities, and community-based and faith-based organizationsthroughout the country. The core concept driving this educationalstrategy is that by combining service objectives and learning objectives,along with the intent to show measurable change in both the recipientand the provider of the service, the result is a radically-effectivetransformative method of teaching students.”Source: (2010), ‘What is Service-Learning? In Learn and Serve Americas ’s National Service-Learning Clearinghouse.
  11. 11. Service Learning Benefits: The Students The Teacher The Community
  12. 12. Components of Service-Learning Investigation Preparation and Planning Action Reflection Demonstration/CelebrationSource: Kaye, Cathryn Berger. The Complete Guide to Service Learning: Proven Practical Ways to Engage Students in Civic Responsibility, Academic Curriculum, & Social Action. Minneapolis, Free Spirit Publishing, Inc., 2010.
  13. 13. Investigation• Teachers help students identify need• Investigate/analyze through research• Contact community partners
  14. 14. Preparation and Planning• Make authentic plan of action to respond to community need• Create timeline• Delegate assignments
  15. 15. Action• Put plan into action• Continue to raise questions to enhance project• Experience results of actions in relation to other community members
  16. 16. Reflection• Students assess project to understand their impact on others• Students relate experience to personal lives by considering its effects on their thoughts and future actions• Class holds follow-up discussions and investigations
  17. 17. Demonstration/Celebration• Students exhibit what they learned in a public presentation• Students teach others the knowledge they have gained• Allows them to celebrate their achievement with others
  18. 18. What Makes a Service Learning ProjectMeaningful and Effective?1. Meets a recognized community need2. Accomplishes curricular goals3. Carefully planned by teachers, students and community organizations4. Encourages greater student responsibility5. Students form community partnerships6. Includes reflection to enhance the learning experience7. Teaches students the skills needed for service (Maryland Student Service Alliance
  19. 19. Standards for Service Learning Service-learning actively engages participants in meaningful and personally relevant service activities. Service-learning is intentionally used as an instructional strategy to meet learning /content goals. Service-learning incorporates multiple ongoing reflection activities that prompt deep thinking and analysis about oneself and one’s relationship to society. Service-learning promotes mutual respect among all participants. Service-learning provides youth with a strong voice in planning, implementing, and evaluating service-learning experiences with guidance from adults.
  20. 20. Standards for Service Learning  Service-learning partnerships are collaborative, mutually beneficial, and address community needs.  Service-learning engages participants in an ongoing process to assess the quality of implementation and progress toward meeting specified goals, and uses results for improvement and sustainability.  Service-learning has sufficient duration and intensity to address community needs and meet specified outcomes. RMC Research Corporation. (2008). Standards and Indicators for Effective Service-Learning Practice. Scotts Valley, CA: National Service-Learning Clearinghouse. Retrieved from
  21. 21. Service Learning Plan NutritionPossible Themes: Related Curricular Goals:Respecting your body Scientific methodHealthy living ChemistryAppreciating nature BiologyBalance Home economicsMaking good choices Problem solvingAppreciating healthy food KashrutActing as if you are created in G-d’s image BrachotCommunity Needs:People may not have sufficient foodNutritious food is more expensive than junk foodPeople may not know which foods are nutritiousPeople who are sick and elderly may need help obtaining foodTexts:Food labels, FDA food pyramid, Chumash , newspapersPartnering Agencies: (Name/Contact/Phone/Email)Shelters, food pantry/soup kitchen, restaurants, super markets, synagogues, schoolsResources for Further Research:Books, internet, videos, organizationsProjects Ideas:Food drives, organize a soup kitchen, teach younger students about healthy eating, take people who areelderly to the supermarket, deliver food to those who are sick, create and distribute a nutritious cookbookTimeframe:Begin the first week of school by choosing a theme and allow 2 weeks to research potential ideas and 2 weeksto contact potential partnering agencies before beginning project.Budget:$100 for classroom supplies, transportation costs, food, publishing, etc.Additional Considerations:Are volunteers needed to help?Do parents have related skills that will be helpful?Does school have permission to take students on trips?Can other classes be involved?
  22. 22. Service Learning and IsraelEducation: How? Investigation Preparation and Planning Action Reflection Demonstration/CelebrationSource: Kaye, Cathryn Berger. The Complete Guide to Service Learning: Proven Practical Ways to Engage Students in Civic Responsibility, Academic Curriculum, & Social Action. Minneapolis, Free Spirit Publishing, Inc., 2010.
  23. 23. Investigation• Select a community need in Israel• If needed, begin with investigation of needs in local community and link to needs in Israel• Incorporate Israeli/Hebrew sources as part of research• Contact community partners in Israel and in America
  24. 24. Preparation and Planning• Incorporate as much authentic service as possible• If need be, parallel project in Israel with local project.
  25. 25. Action• If at all possible, go to Israel for at least part of service project.• Encourage any students who will be in Israel to engage in a related service project during their trip.
  26. 26. ReflectionIn addition to reflection ideasmentioned before, reflections canfocus on students’ relationships toIsrael, preconceived notions aboutIsrael, how community needs inIsrael are similar/different fromour own, and alternativeresponses to these communityneeds.
  27. 27. Demonstration/Celebration• A perfect Yom Ha’atzmaut program, especially if service learning projects have been implemented throughout the school.
  28. 28. Service Learning & Israel:What Are They Learning? Israeli needs Israeli culture Israeli community Israeli history Arab-Israeli conflict Israeli organizations How different is life in Israel? Hebrew
  29. 29. Service Learning & Israel:Challenges More difficult to do authentic service from a distance More difficult for students to take the lead when they do not know the context More difficult to connect with community partners at a distance More difficult to sustain over distance Potential for language barrier in research
  30. 30. Service Learning & Israel:Possible Solutions Start with local: Combine study of local needs with study of needs in Israel. Provide more directed lessons; take the lead Make use of technology whenever possible: e-mail, video-conferencing, internet, conference call. Make use of Israeli faculty members and community members as sources of information.
  31. 31. Service Learning & Israel: AndPolitics Intentional connections to the “matzav”: Opportunity to touch on the politics without devoting entire unit to the situation Be prepared for unintentional connections: Who is served by the organizations you work with? Do they serve populations across the green line? Do they serve non-Jewish or non- Israeli populations? Why or why not?
  32. 32. Service Learning & Israel:Brainstorming ExamplesWith a partner, brainstorm: Community Needs in Israel Project Ideas to Meet These Needs Curricular Connections (What will they learn about Israel?) Potential Community Partners (Here and in Israel)
  33. 33. Resources:Chesed/Service Learning Cathryn Berger Kaye’s Website: Corporation for National & Community Service: Do Something: Free Spirit Publishing: Giraffe Heroes Project: Good Character: Kids Consortium: Learn and Serve: Learning in Deed: Learning to Give: Live Wire Media: National Service-Learning Clearinghouse: National Service-Learning Exchange: National Youth Leadership Council: New Jewish Values finder: Service Learning Listserv: SOLV (Susan Abravanel):
  34. 34. Resources: Teaching Israel Pomson, A. and Deitcher, H. (2010). Day School Israel Education in the Age of Birthright. Journal of Jewish Education. 76:1. 52 - 73 Sinclair, A. (2009). A New Heuristic Device for the Analysis of Israel Education: Observations from a Jewish Summer Camp. Journal of Jewish Education. 75:1. 79 - 106 HaYidion, Spring 2009 (Available at
  35. 35. Resources: Databases ofOrganizations in IsraelAreyvut Database:
  36. 36. Information Shira Hammerman (201) 244-6702 Check it out!