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  • This presentation has been designed to facilitate teaching of Unit 9D: Why are some places special to religious believers?
  • You may wish to give students a general introduction to Israel by showing an appropriate video or showing students holiday brochures which include Israel and especially Jerusalem.
  • Students may be interested to know that few plants, animals or fish can live in the Dead Sea due to the high levels of salt. However, it is a great tourist attraction due to the high levels of natural minerals contained therein which are said to be healing. People also visit it for the fun of floating in the sea without effort!
  • Students could be asked to draw a pie chart which shows the different weight of control over the years and to consider whether this timeline can help to explain some of the reasons for conflict in Israel, especially during the last fifty years. Information about Jerusalem during the different periods of rule, in addition to information about Jerusalem sites, can be found at
  • An introduction to the significance of different holy sites can be found at
  • The term Wailing Wall was given by non-Jews to the Western Wall when they saw how the Jews who came there wept. In 1967, Israel took control of the entire city of Jerusalem and Jews were granted complete authority over the site of the Western Wall – until this time, British police and Arab communities disputed some of the worship which went on there. Men and women worship separately at the wall. More information about the Western Wall can be found at
  • The name of the place which is the most sacred to Muslims is Mecca. Medina (Al-Madinah ) is the second most sacred site. The tradition in Islam states that the area of Jerusalem and Mecca will be connected together at the end of time, the Day of Judgment. The Holy Lands will be the special point of proximity to Heaven on this future date. Prophet Muhammad stated, “whoever dies in the sanctuary of Jerusalem is as if he/she attained paradise, and for the person who dies close by, it is as if he/she had died in the City.”
  • The rock, over which The Dome of the Rock is built, is also important to Christians and Jews as it is the place where Adam (the first man according to the Old Testament) is said to be buried. It is the place where Cain and Abel offered their gift to God and also the place where Noah built an altar after leaving the ark.
  • As a homework activity students could be asked to find out what happened to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane that makes it so important for Christians.
  • Mark 14:32-15:32 describes Jesus’ arrest, trial and crucifixion in the locations shown on the map.
  • Now students know a little about what Jerusalem means to each of the three faiths, they could be asked to research the historical conflicts between the religions making a list of the reasons for the conflicts. This will prepare them for slides to come in this presentation. Perhaps the class could be split into three groups, each group concentrating on one of the three religions. Useful web sites include:
  • This is a cloze sentence exercise. Not all words are used in the text. The completed text is provided below. You may wish to copy and paste this into a text document, and print copies for students to keep for reference. Alternatively you could delete words and students could complete the gap fill activity individually. Due to differing religious concerns, Jerusalem’s history is marked more by conflict than by peace. As the end of the British rule in Israel approached, Jews and Arabs both sought to complete possession of the city. Most Christians favoured a free city open to all religions and this view was also held by the UN. In 1948, the Zionists realized their first dream by creating a Jewish state in 80% of the old Palestine. The Jews expelled over 800,000 Arabs from the area they occupied and destroyed hundreds of Arab cities, villages, cemeteries and mosques. In May 1948 the Jews in the Old City surrendered although the New City remained in Jewish hands. The Old City and all areas held by the Arab Legion in East Jerusalem were then captured by Jordan in 1949. Israel responded by retaining the area it already held and later that year declaring the New City of Jerusalem Israel’s capital. In the Arab-Israeli War of 1967, Israeli forces took the Old City which allowed the Jews to once again worship by the Western Wall. Israel transferred many Arabs out of the Old City but promised access to the holy places to people of all religions. In July 1980, Israel’s parliament approved a bill confirming Jerusalem Israel’s capital. Conflict between Arabs and Jews continues. The issue of the status of east Jerusalem, which has been captured by Israel but is regarded by Palestinians as the eventual capital of their own state, remains difficult.
  • You may wish to remind students that the views expressed here are very broad generalizations and do not represent the views of any individuals of any of the faiths. This activity could be completed in teams with each team taking turns and getting a point if correct. If incorrect the question could pass to the next team.
  • Students could continue this work in their own books and add to the lists as their knowledge grows. This table could lead on to a class discussion or individual writing exercise for students to express their own views on the current conflict in Israel.
  • Jerusalem

    1. 1. Jerusalem These icons indicate that teacher’s notes or useful web addresses are available in the Notes Page. For more detailed instructions, see the Getting Started presentation. This icon indicates the slide contains activities created in Flash. These activities are not editable.
    2. 2. Jerusalem Country: Region: Continent : National Population : City Population : Language : Currency : Religion : What do know already about the city of Jerusalem? Judaism, with Islamic minority Israel Middle East Asia About 6 million people About 650,000 people Hebrew and also some Arabic New Shekel (NIS)
    3. 3. Israel Israel is a Jewish state , surrounded by many Arab states. It is a small country lying east of the Mediterranean sea . Like other countries in the area, Israel endures a very hot climate during the summer months, especially in low-lying areas such as the area surrounding the Dead Sea . Jerusalem was proclaimed the capital of Israel in 1980.
    4. 4. Timeline 3150–1006 BC Canaanites 1006–586 BC Israelites (Jewish) 586–37 BC Hellenists (Greeks) 37BC–324 AD Romans 324–638 Byzantines (Christian) 638–1099 Early Muslim Conquests 1099–1187 Crusaders (Christian) 1187–1917 Mamelukes and Ottomans (Muslim) 1917–1948 British (Christian) 1948–Present State of Israel (Jewish) Can you work out how long Jews, Christians, and Muslims have each been in control of Jerusalem?
    5. 5. The city of Jerusalem is a holy city from the viewpoints of three major religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Jerusalem is divided into three sections, the Old City, the New City (West Jerusalem) and East Jerusalem. The New City was built mostly by the Jews and has seen a lot of recent development. East Jerusalem , just north of the Old City, is considered the modern Arab section. It is very close to the Israeli controlled West Bank. The walled Old City in the centre contains Muslim, Jewish, Christian and Armenian quarters. The holy land
    6. 6. Jerusalem is important for each religion in different ways. Each religion has important reasons for wanting complete access to their shrines. The land is considered sacred by each one of the religions due to association and history . Religious significance What do you know already about the significance of Jerusalem for Christianity, Judaism and Islam?
    7. 7. Jewish Jerusalem The most sacred shrine for Jews in Jerusalem is the Western Wall , also known as the Wailing Wall . This is the only remaining portion of the original wall of King Solomon's Temple, destroyed by the Romans. After the Jews were banished from the Temple Mount the Western Wall became their most sacred place of worship. Although Israel is quite a new country, Jews have lived in the region for over 3,000 years. For Jews the city of Jerusalem is the site of their ancient Temple and their historical homeland. Although Jews have not always been permitted free worship by the wall, today Jews worship freely and insert their prayers on paper into the cracks of the wall.
    8. 8. The Western Wall
    9. 9. Passover in Jerusalem Passover is an old ‘pilgrim’ festival and in the past, Jews travelled from far and wide to celebrate the festival together in Jerusalem. Although many Jews live in Israel, many more live in other countries all across the world. During Passover however, many Jews still travel to Jerusalem as part of a pilgrimage to pray at the Western Wall. Today, Jews not living in Israel say ‘Next Year in Jerusalem’ at Passover time in the hope that this wish will come true.
    10. 10. Muslim Jerusalem Muslims worship at the Dome of the Rock , also known as the Mosque of Omar , on the site of the old Jewish Temple. For Muslims, Jerusalem is their third holiest city because it is the site from which Muhammad is said to have risen to heaven on his Night Journey. Visitors to the mosque are shown Muhammad’s footprint on the rock. Jerusalem is the city where many of the prophets of Islam, including Abraham and Jesus, preached. For Muslims the name suggests peace and corresponds to the Muslim concept of the sacred: a place where peace reigns.
    11. 11. The Dome of the Rock
    12. 12. Christian Jerusalem Christians worship at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher . This church was established in the 4th century AD and was rebuilt by the Crusaders beginning in 1099. The church is believed by Christians historians to be located on the hill of Calvary or Golgotha , where Jesus was crucified. Behind the Dome of the Rock is the Mount of Olives , important in Christianity as the site of the Garden of Gethsemane . Christians in Jerusalem walk the Via Dolorosa which is said to be the path Jesus took through the city on his way to be crucified. For Christians the city is the site of many events in the life of Jesus Christ and his followers as documented in the New Testament .
    13. 13. Jesus crucified and died Jesus’ agony Jesus’ Trial before Pilate Upper Room of the Last Supper Jerusalem during New Testament times
    14. 14. Church of the Holy Sepulcher
    15. 15. Get creative Design a travel brochure for Jerusalem thinking carefully about who your target traveller will be. Don’t forget to include any information you have learned and pictures you have gathered. You may need to do a little more research.
    16. 16. A history of conflict in Jerusalem
    17. 17. Guess who…
    18. 18. Fill in the boxes below to show where the differences lie. Try to think of as many points as you can. Different views What Muslims Want for Jerusalem What Jews Want for Jerusalem