Israel Education

The Israel Education and Advocacy program extends over a four year sequence. As part of our World Jewish History curriculum (Grades 9 and 10), students explore the currents of diaspora Judaism from the middle ages through the shivat tzion migration waves of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to the establishment of Medinat Yisrael, ultimately focusing on the issues confronting contemporary Israel on the world stage. In the eleventh grade course, Israel Advocacy, aims to educate and empower students through an understanding of the history of the Middle East and the conflicts surrounding Israel which continue to dominate news headlines and international attention. Together, teachers and students examine major points of contention, their historical underpinnings, and the persuasive arguments of a pro-Israel advocate. Students are equipped with the knowledge and tools to serve as passionate and articulate defenders of Israel in the face of the constant challenges to Israel’s credibility in the media and on college campuses. Among the topics covered are the Palestinian refugee issue, Israeli “occupation” and settlements, claims of apartheid, and the BDS movement. The course seeks to explore the Palestinians’ perspective on these issues and also address current events that pertain to the US-Israel relationship. In the senior year, all students are required to take a three week course identifying the most recent issues that our graduates will encounter as they arrive on college campus. The goal of this sequence is to provide a historical understanding of the issues, along with insight into the political context of the current moment. At the same time, the course tries to develop the skill for students to be able to engage in debate and to promote a full appreciation of Israel’s contributions to the free world, to the ethics of democracy as a nation state, and to the eternal moral principles of the Jewish sovereign power.