Decision Time: The Homeland Carnival

This activity is the re-enactment of the quest for votes that effectively created the State of Israel. Campers will have to do Israel-related activities and challenges in order to collect the necessary "votes" such that the United Nations votes in favor of the Partition Plan.

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The state of Israel was created after World War II ended when thousands of Jewish refugees lived in Europe.
Jewish representatives had to secure votes from the UN to get the resolution for the establishment of the Jewish state passed
The Partition Plan, as proposed at the UN, divided the land into two states, one for the Jews and one for the Arabs.
The real celebration of the founding of the state took place on Nov. 29, 1947 -- the moment when the international community accepted the idea of a Jewish state in Palestine.

Explanation: 

  1. Divide the group into teams of about 5 campers. Each group receives a unique bingo card with 9 squares. Each square should have a picture or symbol that refers to the modern state of Israel. The nine symbols will match the symbols that identify the different stations.
  2. Explain to the campers that they will probably not be able to fill all of the squares on their own card, but it's important that several of them are filled (don't tell them how many) on a certain number of different teams' cards (don't tell them how many). Therefore, it's important that teams help other teams find the different stations (which can be "hidden" or off the beaten track) and help them with the activities.
  3. Counselors should run each of the 9 different stations and get into character according to the station theme and task. At each station, they should have a large picture that is on the bingo card. When a group arrives at the station, they need to perform a task in order to get their sticker on their card. Remember, the more "carnival-like" each station is, the more fun the campers will have!

           Stations:

  • Quiz show: Counselor will say: If you want your own state, you should know something about it.
    • Group must answer 5 questions about Israel correctly. Can't get stamp until they answer at least 5.
  • Army: Counselor will say: If you are going to have a state, you will have to defend yourself.
    • Group must do 15 sit ups or push ups.
  • Culture: Counselor will say: If you are going to have a state, what will make it artistic?
    • Group must sing a song in Hebrew
  • Hebrew: Counselor will say: You have a language you want to use for this country. Do you know it?
    • Group must recite the Alef Bet or name 3 words they know in Modern Hebrew (not prayers)
  • State: Counselor will say: Countries need symbols. What will yours be?
    • Group will need to draw a flag.
  • National Anthem: Counselor will say: What will be the song that symbolizes your country?
    • Campers must at least be able to name Hatikva and either sing it or at least hum it.
  • Land: Counselor will say: What will this country eventually look like?
    • Campers must lay out their bodies in the shape of the map of Israel.
  • Dance: Counselor will say: I've seen Israeli dancing, can you do it?
    • Campers must get into a hora and dance around.
  • Passion: Counselor will say: Why does this matter to you?
    • Campers will have to explain why it's personally important to them for the state of Israel to exist.
  1. Allow enough time for groups to go from station to station but not fill out their card entirely. Groups should be encouraged to help one another through the activities -- by telling them where the stations are if they are hidden, or passing on information. When time is up, there should be a question in everyone's mind of whether enough squares were filled out.
  2. Once everyone gathers back together, groups should pass their cards to a staff table where the cards are tabulated. This should be going on where campers can see it -- have the staff make a production out of examining the cards and counting them up on a score sheet.
  3. As this this happening, the educators should talk to the campers about the activity. Tell them that in some ways, this activity was like what the representatives of Jewish Palestine and the Jews who helped them had to do in order to get the votes necessary to get the UN resolution passed.
  4. Screen the Toldot video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrIjzUK0FKg

 

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Comments

I think this is a fabulous

I think this is a fabulous activity and I can really see this fitting into camp programming.  I think it can even be geared toward the younger ages, depending on how much historical context is given.  Even if campers don't have a lot of (or any) background knowledge on the creation of the state of Israel and the partition plan, they can relate to the struggles this entailed with the concept of running around camp to fill up their bingo card.  I like how the tasks are directly related to the creation of the Jewish state, but I think maybe adding some more challenging tasks could be better for the program.  While I personally enjoyed the video at the end, I don't think many campers will be interested in watching the full 10 minutes, but that a staff member can wrap up and relate the program back to 1947.