Class update - Juniors, February 2010
The February lesson for the juniors’ class focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We began the morning with a short history lesson, and students learned about the conflict’s origins in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war that paved the way for the founding of the state of Israel and made refugees out of the millions of Palestinians displaced by Zionist forces. Students wrote and performed short skits about this history, and then did some more in-depth thinking about the effects/consequences for Israelis and Palestinians of different developments stemming from expanding occupation of the territories. After this, the class watched selections from a 2001 documentary film called “Promises,” which looks at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the perspective of seven children—Jewish and Palestinian—who live in Jerusalem and on the West Bank. Students discussed the clips, their feelings about the Jewish and Palestinian children’s experiences, and their thoughts about what could help achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians. After the film discussion, we shifted gears, and students split into teams and wrote some Jewish trivia questions; then teams posed questions to each other Or Emet-quiz-bowl style! Class wrapped up with a visit from Miriam Jerris, and students had the opportunity to share some thoughts about Humanistic Judaism and the day’s lesson with the rabbi.