Linking Our Individual Moments Together

This activity helps participants delve deeper into components that make up their Jewish identity and make connections with others on a deeper and more personal level. This could be a good evening program on a night that the group is indoors (they need markers, butcher paper and a flat surface) early in the program to build relationships, or when you want them to explore issues of identity.

Curriculum Themes: 

Materials Required: 

Program Duration: 

Physical Space: 

Number of Campers: 

Age of Campers: 

Core Learnings: 

Each of us is connected in a multitude of ways to each other.
Our Israel stories can be used to connect others to their own Israel stories.

Explanation: 

INSTRUCTIONS:
1.    Place on a table (or on the floor) a large piece of butcher paper.
2.    Give each participant a different colored marker and ask him or her to find a space on the butcher paper.
3.    Instruct them to each draw a circle and write their name in the middle of the circle. Then draw 4 circles around their name – small enough that they don’t touch (each other or those of another person) but big enough that they can write a word or short phrase in the circle and people will be able to read it.

PROMPTS AND CONNECTIONS:
1.    Then tell them to listen carefully to the following prompts. With each prompt, they are instructed to come up with a word or short phrase that sums up the essence of the prompt and write that word or phrase in a circle.
a.    Who are you named after or what is the meaning of your name?  
b.    What is your favorite place at home or what is your favorite place in Israel? 
c.    What is a meaningful Jewish moment that you’ve had in your life?
d.    What is a value (or guiding principle or characteristic) that resonates with you (that you care about)?
e.    What connects you to Israel?
2.    Once participants are finished writing their words, ask them to “zoom out” and take a walk around the table to see what other people wrote. Instruct them to pay attention to the words that others have written and try to find connections between themselves (their words) and the words of others. 
3.    When they find a connection – they are to draw a line from their word to the word that connects it – and along the line, write another word or phrase that describes the connection. Give them ample time for this part (20 minutes). Option: You can use post-it notes rather than writing on the lines.

DEBRIEF:
1.    Find someone who you have connected with and share a story from your circles. 
2.    Find someone who you have not connected with and share a story from your circles.  
3.    Come back into a circle and ask someone to share a connection that they found.  Make sure to get to the Israel story.
4.    You can really take this debrief in a variety of ways. 
a.    What surprised you about the connections you made through this activity?
b.    How can our own personal stories help us as educators? 
c.    This exercise helps us find a trigger into making connections and finding meaningful stories. Stories are a great way to make connections with and for other people.