Movin' On Up!

The campers will experience a modified 'aliyah' to Israel either as immigrants or existing citizens, where they will get to engage in dialogue and learn about aliyah from a personal place.

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Core Learnings: 

The process of Aliyah
The role customs and traditions play in social interaction
The diversity of Israel's population

Explanation: 

The participants will spend the first five minutes of the session doing a series of warm-up activities to get comfortable in the room. After the warm-up, one facilitator will remove half the group and take them outside the room.

The group outside the room will be given two sheets of paper. The first is an empty registration/application form for making Aliyah to Israel. The goal is to get the participants to create, quickly, an identity of a person they imagine might be making Aliyah (including information such as number of children, profession, age, etc.). The participants in this group will then be given a second piece of paper, empty, for them to write an answer to the following question: “Why are you making Aliyah?”

The group inside the room will spend the first few minutes collectively deciding on specific weird customs (such as pointing at a person when they begin speaking). Once those customs are agreed upon and memorized, the group will discuss the different kinds of people who exist as Israeli citizens in 2013. Each person in the group will assume one of those identities and spend a few minutes writing down an answer to the following question: “What does it mean to be Israeli?”

The outside group will be invited back into the room for a cocktail party during which they can schmooze and meet the people in the inside group. This will be framed as new olim meeting current Israeli citizens to ask them one question: “What does it mean to be Israeli?” The Israelis can ask the olim “Why are you making Aliyah?”

Following the cocktail party, the entire group will sit on the floor in a circle and the facilitator will guide a group discussion about Israel, during which the customs will emerge. After a few minutes of this, the facilitator will end the exercise and begin a debrief of the entire program.

Variations: 

The group discussion should NOT be a debrief on the session itself. So, you can change up the subject matter of the group discussion so as to facilitate the customs being brought to the fore without stymying any debrief or talkback on the session itself (and on the aliyah portion of the session, in particular)

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