Week 1: Early History of Israel


Introduce IsraEd and begin learning about the early history of the state of Israel.


Before your first convening, reach out to all participants. If you do not already know the participants, you can use this as an opportunity to introduce yourself. Ask each participant to watch these two videos: Judaism explained: Religions in Global History and Rise of Antisemitism. Here is a sample communication you can use: 


My name is [YOUR NAME] and I will be your IsraEd supervisor this summer. I am excited to learn and grow with you. Before our first session together, please complete this pre-summer survey. It will only take a few minutes.

Please also set aside some time to watch these two videos: Judaism explained: Religions in Global History and Rise of Antisemitism. We will be discussing these at our first session. Let me know if you have any questions.



Using the virtual platform that best fits the needs of your camp and cohort, introduce IsraEd! Please welcome the cohort and thank them for participating. Let them know that IsraEd is a program specifically designed for day camp staff across North America and that they are one of 10 cohorts participating this summer. They should also understand that you will be convening them each week, and that they will be required to do some learning on their own time. This will go on for 7 weeks (although you may choose to combine up to two adjacent weeks if your camp schedule requires it.) If you choose to create and facilitate the optional peer teaching experience, tell participants that at the end of the program they will be challenged to teach their peers some of what they learned. Past cohorts have chosen to create jeopardy game nights, powerpoint presentations etc. Your cohort can get creative!

Now that you have introduced the program: 

Ask each participant to write down answers to the following prompts:

  1. Their prior knowledge about Israel – what do they know already? The items may be as simple as where Israel is located on a map, or the language spoken there. Just as them to jot down every little (and seemingly meaningless) bit of their prior Israel knowledge. A good strategy for this is a free write in which you instruct participants to just write everything they know.
  2. Questions they may have/topics they are interested in learning more about regarding the geopolitical history of Israel. In other words, what do they want to know or gain from participating in this initiative? 

Next: Week 2