NU Campaign: Israel Impacts the World

Through the NU Campaign t-shirts, campers will learn about the important work of several Israeli social action organizations. By exploring the stories of Israeli non-profits, such as Leket Israel, Save a Child's Heart, and Jewish Hearts for Africa, campers will reflect on Israel's impact throughout the world and personally connect with some of Israel's causes.

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Core Learnings: 

Social justice organizations created within Israel bring aid to people both inside and outside of the country.
Numerous Israeli nonprofits are created in response to harsh realities and attempt to bring health and peace to different populations in need.
Spreading awareness of the problems and of these organizations can help create positive change.

Explanation: 

  1. Describe the NU Campaign. Details can be found here.
  2. Discuss four of the t-shirts that highlight social justice causes. For example:
  • Save a Child’s Heart

A little girl named Katya, who was four years old came to Israel from Moldova with heart defects. Save a Child’s Heart is an Israeli-based international humanitarian organization whose mission is to improve the quality of pediatric care.

  • Dream Doctors

Integrates professional medical clowning into the medical services provided at Israeli hospitals. 

  • Jewish Heart For Africa

A nonprofit that brings sustainable Israeli technologies to rural African villages. It operates in Uganda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia and has touched 2000,000 African people, bringing energy, medical clinics, medicines, and vaccines.

  • Leket Israel

One quarter of the population in Israel is food insecure. Leket Israel is the country’s largest national food bank and leading food rescue network that is dedicated to eliminating hunger in Israel’s needy regardless of religion or ethnic background.

  1. Pass around t-shirts so participants fully understand the impact of what appears on the shirts, and what is printed inside.
  2. Break into pairs or small groups and choose one of the following organizations:
  • Park Chaverim– Friendship Park for the disabled

Located outside of Tel Aviv, this 9 acre park was the first accessible park for handicapped children in Israel. The park offers play equipment for children in wheelchairs and with hearing and vision impairments. It includes paths, swings, and carousels that can accommodate a wheelchair. In addition, accommodations were even made for motor-disabled parents or grandparents accompanying able-bodied children at the park. This park served as a model for newer ones throughout Israel and the world. Volunteers help facilitate everyday interactions and assure kids with disabilities get first priority on the equipment, which is popular with all children.

  • ILAN

As Israel’s oldest and largest voluntary organization, ILAN works to improve the quality of life for people with neuromuscular disabilities. ILAN sponsors the Israel Sport Center for the Disabled where participants play table tennis without hands, folk dance in a wheel chair, earn a degree in cinema despite cerebral palsy, or befriend an able-bodied peer at summer camp. ILAN’s summer camp pairs disabled children with teen volunteers and  trains the teen volunteers to do the intensive tasks normally left to parents such as dressing and feeding their campers. Many of the campers and teens develop strong friendships and are repaired in following summers.

  • Neveh Shalom’s School for Peace

Located in the village of Neve Shalom, halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, this village houses 50 Jewish and Arab families. The School of Peace works to develop a more just and peaceful relationship between Arabs and Jews by developing participants’ awareness of the conflict and their role in it and constructing their identity through interactions with each other. Through intensive courses, the School for Peace helps Israeli and Arab Palestinian professionals find out how they can be strong voices for peace, whether they are journalists lawyers, or architects.

  • The Decade Group

This company specializes in finding creative education solutions and has developed the “Young Engineers” program that teaches children math, physics, and engineering using LEGO and Kid K’nex. The main goal of the programs is to demonstrate the theoretical studies using stories, examples and building models that powerfully illustrate the theoretic topics. Most of their activities take place in an extracurricular setting in schools and community centers.

  1. Pretend you work for the NU Campaign and your goal is to create a t-shirt that allows people to be social advocates for one of these organizations. You can either design the front or write/make-up the story that goes in the inside.
  2. When the group comes back together, everyone presents their design and concept.

Variations: 

  1. These activities can conclude with a competition or contest, in which the winners get to keep the shirts.
  2. These activities can continue with an arts and crafts project in which campers make their own shirts with messages.
  3. Presenting the shirts can be paired with other activities, such as "What Does Better Look Like?", after groups explore four of these social justice organizations.
  4. Incorporate this activity into Staff Week. The GE and others can use it to introduce the way Israel is being integrated into camp, and after pursuing one of the options described above, staff can work in small groups (by cabin, unit or specialty area) to design their own shirt with a storytelling, eye-grabbing image on the outside and a narrative story on the inside. If all staff are wearing these shirts on the first dayof the session, campers are sure to notice - and great conversations can ensue. 

 

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Comments

nu campaign

I like this very much when we discussed it in New Jersey. I just don't know how practical it is for camp.

Joel Bennett's picture

Wearing your heart on your sleeve

The cool part of the NU campaign is that it is accessible for high school age kids to actually do something. In an age where you can champion something just by clicking 'Like,' the cool part is that there is a real action item. Our ability to do that inside our camp communities on an individual level is a whole summer camp in and of itself ---- very hard to put into a 60 min. program.

I do like the idea of the shirts themselves and using Arts and Crafts to design something --- a shirt, bandana, sophie shorts, whatever --- that creatively expresses a cause that a camper is passionate about. Of course, we have to tie that back to Israel.... This activity could be a great followup to one of the other activities on this website (The Great Debate?) because it helps to create a visual representation of the discussion.