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MIFGASHIM  July 2003

MIFGASHIM July 2003

Subject:

MIFGASHIM

From:

Solly Kaplinski <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

MIFGASHIM LIST <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 20 Jul 2003 21:43:40 +0300

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (226 lines)

MIFGASHIM

July 20 2003
20 Tammuz 5763
Volume 2:45
Moderator: Solly Kaplinski
The Lookstein Center for Jewish Education
Bar Ilan University

------------------------------------------------------------

1. Resource of the Week
Esther Feldman: Director, Information and Technology Services
The Lookstein Center

2. Focus on Current Events and Parashat Hashavuah
Chana German, Co-ordinator, Virtual Resource Center
The Lookstein Center

3. What text books for teaching Mishna?
Daniel

4. The impact of security in schools
(See MIFGASHIM July 13 2003)
4.1 Mark Baker
4.2 Samantha Feldman

5. Advice and dissent or how we all became critics of Israel
Andrew Silow-Carroll
Editor in Chief
New Jersey Jewish News
(See MIFGASHIM July 13 2003)

-----------------------------------------------------------

CONTENTS

1. Resource of the Week
Esther Feldman: Director, Information and Technology Services
The Lookstein Center

Last September, in response to a story in Education World, teachers
around the world sent in their favorite first-day-of-school activities.
Fourteen of them are presented on this webpage.

To see this week's resource, go to

http://www.lookstein.org/resource_week.htm and click on July 2003

or go directly to

http://www.look


-----------------------------------------------------------

2. Focus on Current Events and Parashat Hashavuah
Chana German, Co-ordinator, Virtual Resource Center
The Lookstein Center

Each week the Lookstein Center offers educators discussion points to focus
in the classroom for both the weekly Torah portion and current events in
Israel. These resources can be accessed at

http://www.lookstein.org/edu_focus_on.htm

This week: Focus on Current Events explores the ethical question of cutting
back on hospital services.

Focus on Parashat HaShavuah (Matot-Massei) discusses dangerous jobs and the
financial compensation that generally comes with them. Can a price be
placed on human life?

"And of the children of Israel's half, which Moshe divided from the men
that warred..."
Bemidbar 31: 42

-----------------------------------------------------------

3. What text books for teaching Mishna?
Daniel

I teach in a modern orthodox school in England. We have year 7 course
teaching Mishna Brachot. The textbook we use is the picture Mishna
book, which has the Mishna with a commentary and then each Mishna with
picture in the second half of the book. Some of you may be familiar with
this series.

The class even though it is a top set will not have many pupils who can
understand or translate the Hebrew of the Mishna.

Whilst I think about planning for next year I am wondering how people
would use this book. I do not want pupils writing in the Mishna, as they
will be used in future years. Has anyone been in a similar situation and
how did you deal with organising materials for the lesson?

Last year I ended up using a lot of handouts, but these got lost or
muddled up all the time and I would like to steer away from that next
year.

I would appreciate hearing any ideas

-------------------------------------------


4. The impact of security in schools
(See MIFGASHIM July 13 2003)
4.1 Mark Baker

Iíve been reading the conversations on security in the schools with great
interest. My question to readers is how you educate your kids about these
initiatives? What do you say e.g. about why it is introduced or enhanced
without raising their level of anxiety and insecurity? Or is this not an
issue?

4.2 Samantha Feldman

My question revolves around the question of parent volunteers as opposed to
engaging the services of professionals. We can all go overboard on this.
When do you decide who to use? I suppose one can also settle on a
combination? Also, assuming one decides to go the professional route, given
the costs of such a service, do you find that parents are on the whole
prepared to accept a security levy?

And one more question, do schools use students in any capacity for security
related tafkidim?

-----------------------------------------------------------

5.Advice and dissent or how we all became critics of Israel
 Andrew Silow-Carroll
Editor in Chief
New Jersey Jewish News
(See MIFGASHIM July 13 2003)

(Moderatorís comment: This on - going encounter hopefully provides mind
food to those teachers who engage in focussing with their students on
Israel today, how to teach it, what sort of stance to adapt and how to
achieve the delicate balance between support of Israel and an understanding
of the issues of involved.)

The argument that Jews have no say in the debates raging inside of Israel
has a certain logic to it, but I'm not sure how it can be applied in the
real world - especially in the real Jewish world, where so much activism on
behalf of Israel is centered in Jewish organizations with deep commitments
to - and deep divisions over - the future of Israel.

Traditionally, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish
Organizations represents a "my country, right or wrong" approach, never
more obviously and gracefully than under the chairmanship of the late
leader of Reform Judaism, Rabbi Alexander Schindler. Hardly an ideological
soul mate of Menachem Begin, Schindler stuck to a pledge not to criticize
the Likud leader publicly while Begin sat in the Prime Minister's chair.
Subsequent chairpersons, advocating in behalf of subsequent prime
ministers, have sought, some more successfully than others, to emulate
Schindler's deference to Israeli voters.

But the conference, like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, is
meant to reflect the views of the sitting Israel government. Asking the
majority of individual American Jewish organizations to temper their
advocacy for one side or the other of the Israeli debate is like, as the
saying goes, herding cats. Many of these organizations function and
fundraise at the behest of their ideological counterparts inside of Israel.
The Jewish Agency functions as an international parliament, with all the
ideological struggles that implies. Every Jewish organization may claim to
be speaking for the Israeli consensus, but that's only when its guy is in
power. The Zionist Organization of America is sitting high today, just as
the Israel Policy Forum had its heyday in the Rabin era. The very existence
of the "loyal opposition" is in a sense a public criticism of Israel.

The case is also complicated by Israelis who criticize Israel abroad. This
month saw the publication here of Israeli novelist David Grossman's "Death
as a Way of Life: Israel Ten Years after Oslo." A collection of articles
charting the dashed hopes of Israeli leftists' like him, the book is
unsparing in its criticism of Israeli decision-makers of all political and
religious stripes. Reviewing the book in The Washington Post, Milton Viorst
calls it "politically incorrect," and says that it a welcome alternative to
American Jewish leaders who insist "the whole world's against us" and
exploit that outlook "to immure Israel from criticism."

And don't for a minute think the exporting of criticism is a leftist
industry. Here's a line from an English-language article by Ruth Matar,
head of the right-wing group Women in Green, who frequently aims her
fundraising pitches at American Jews: "Has Sharon in effect joined the
Hellenists? How many more victims are necessary before this Hellenist
government realizes that transfer works both ways?"

It's impossible to deny that Israel's will pay the price - or reap the
rewards - from the policies that we Diaspora Jews support or reject in
public. We send letters to the editor; they send kids into the army. But
that realization won't stop Jews from criticizing Israel - nor should it. I
can't imagine a Jewish organization successfully recruiting members with a
program offering only a cheerleader's view of the Middle East, any more
than I can see a teacher exciting a class with a curriculum that offers
only answers, no questions.

But that doesn't mean we shouldn't to temper our language, open our ears to
other points of view, consider the audience in the way we couch
disagreements, or remember the stakes whenever we engage in activism in
Israel's behalf.


-----------------------------------------------------------

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________

The Mifgashim List is a project of
The Rabbi Joseph H. Lookstein Center for Jewish Education in the Diaspora
The School of Education, Bar Ilan University

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subject line.
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You can search the archives at
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Check out online educational materials and information on other
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The website is supported, in part, by a generous grant from the
AviChai Foundation.

Further information may be obtained by writing to: [log in to unmask]

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