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Adult Ed: Israel 101

Led by Dr. Jonathan Golden and Rabbi Jethro Berkman on ZOOM, the goal of the class series is to connect participants to foundational knowledge about Israel. Originally developed at Gann Academy for students and  parents and later adapted for adult learning in conjunction with CJP’s Community Israel Dialogue initiative, Israel 101 is a lively interactive class based on dual-instructor explanation of source material and probing group discussions. In each session the instructors present model debates that bring to life seminal arguments between figures of historical importance, and between supporters of conflicting viewpoints for the future of Israel, and its people and neighbors. We will also have the opportunity to explore and understand the challenges presented by Israel’s recent election outcomes.

Participants in Israel 101 should expect to emerge with not only increased knowledge and perspective, but also with a strengthened personal connection to Israel as it relates to their Jewish identity.
In order to get the most out of the class, participants are encouraged to join all 3 sessions.

Class One: “Hatikva” (“The Hope”) – The first part of the class explores the origins and meaning of Zionism through leading Zionist thinkers like Theodore Herzl and Ahad Ha’am. The second part of the class explores the trajectory of Israeli politics through the visions of David Ben Gurion and Ze’ev Jabotinsky. Our essential question will focus on whether Jews need a state (or homeland) of their own and if so, what should it look like.

Class Two: “Hamatzav” (“The Situation”) – This class focusses on the impacts of the wars of 1947-49 and 1967 on the Israeli-Arab state conflict and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some of the key explorations of the class will be on refugees and on settlements. Our essential question will focus on the relationship of Israel and her neighbors.

Class Three: “Hayom v’He’atid” (“Today and the Future”) – This class takes the story of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the early 1970s through today. We will particularly focus on the Second Intifada and its impact on Israeli society and Israeli politics. Our essential question will focus on the questions Israelis today are grappling with as they think the meaning of the Jewish state and her relationship with her neighbors.


Classes meet on Zoom only. Mondays: 3/13, 3/20, 3/27 from 7:00-8:30pm

Mon, July 15 2024 9 Tammuz 5784