The Israel IS REAL Game Show

Campers will become participants in “Israel IS REAL,” an interactive game show that is designed to help them explore both commonly held and personal preconceived notions about Israel, and challenge them to determine the truths and fallacies of life in Israel.

Curriculum Themes: 

Materials Required: 

Program Duration: 

Age of Campers: 

Core Learnings: 

Israel is a modern, technologically advanced, and pluralistic country
In order to connect with “the real” Israel, we must distinguish between our preconceived notions of the country and the reality of the country


Part 1: The Introduction

  • You can introduce the activity, or have a special Israeli guest star (Theodore Herzl, Golda Meir, or Ben-Gurion) make an appearance. Alternatively, you can have your shaliach act as Emcee.
  • Explain that the game will take place in two rounds, the first of which is "Two Truths and a Lie"
    • Campers have to figure out which of the three statements is a lie in 13 categories of questions.
    • When called upon, the team must hold up a card (Alef, Bet, or Gimmel) corresponding to the statement that is false
    • Teams get points for correct answers
  • Second round is Scattergories
    • Each team will make a list of any facts they know in each category (see below).
    • Teams will share the facts in Scattergories style. Each team will name a fact they know about Israel and get points if it's not shared by another team. If it is shared, then everyone crosses it off their list and the next team names another fact.
    • Points are given for all facts that are not shared by another team.

Part 2: Two Truths and a Lie

1.  Size

A. Most Israelis live in the desert
B. At it's narrowest point, you can cross Israel in less than 10 miles
C. In recent years, about 3,000 people from North America made aliyah (move to Israel) each year

Answer: A. Even though the desert makes up a large portion of Israel, most Israelis actually live in the areas that are not considered desert.

2.  Culture

A. Israel publishes more books per capita than any country in the world
B. The hit TV show Homeland is based on an Israeli show
C. While Israel boasts a diverse range of music styles, rap has not yet made its way to Israel

Answer: C. Israel's music scene is very diverse and takes influence from all of the different immigrant groups as well as outside music styles. Rap is actually a popular style in Israel and there are many Israeli artists who rap such as Subliminal, Muki, Hadag Nachash.

3.  Entertainment

A. There are no shopping malls in any of Israel’s cities…only outdoor markets
B. Rafting, snow skiing, and sailing are common vacation activities for Israelis and tourists
C. Israel has its own version of “American Idol,” "The Voice," "Project Runway," "Next Top Model," and "Big Brother."

Answer: A. Shopping malls can be be found in most major cities in Israel: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Be'er Sheva, and even smaller towns like Kiryat Shemona .

4.  Technology

A. Instant messaging, the flash drive, and a camera that you can swallow for medical testing were invented by Israelis in Israel.
B. The extreme heat in Israel has limited the speed of Internet access.
C. Microsoft, Google, Intel, and Apple, all have research centers in Israel.

Answer: B. Israel has fast internet accessibility just like in the U.S.A. (and in fact there is even a plan to make the whole city of Tel Aviv one big WiFi hotspot!)

5.  Safety and Security

A. For safety reasons, bags and purses are commonly checked at the entrance to many Israeli malls, restaurants, movie theaters, etc.
B. Israelis and tourists fill the streets of Israel’s cities and towns, restaurants and businesses regularly
C. More people die from terror acts than in car accidents in Israel each year

Answer: C. While there have been many tragedies from terrorism in previous years, actually car accidents are a much more common cause of death in Israel.

6.  Politics

A. Only Jews are allowed to serve in the Israeli Knesset (parliament).
B. Israel was the third country to elect a female Prime Minister after Ceylon and India.
C. The Declaration of the establishment of the State of Israel was made in Tel Aviv but Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

Answer: A. Israeli Arabs do serve in the Knesset and there are even Arab political parties. There are also parties with mixed Israeli Jewish and Israeli Arab members serving.

7.  Religious Nature of Society

A. Most Jews in Israel are very religious, wearing black hats and black suits.
B. In Israel, most people wish one another a Shabbat Shalom on Friday, even if they are not religious.
C. The Reform and Conservative movements are small but slowly establishing themselves in Israel.

Answer: A. The ultra-orthodox Haredim, while physically noticeable, are not the majority of Jews in Israel. Israeli Jews all ranges of Jewish.

8.  The Jewish Connection to Israel

A. The Biblical country of Israel included much of Jordan and even Damascus, Syria.
B. Prior to World War II, there had never been more than 1,000 Jews in the land of Israel since the time of the Bible.
C. Construction in Israel frequently is delayed due to the discovery of ancient Jewish artifacts.

Answer: B. Jews have been living in Israel continuously since the time of the Bible. Beginning in the late 1800's through World War II the Zionist movement helped thousands of Jews who had been living in different Jewish communities around the world make Aliyah and move to the Land of Israel to help found the state.

9.  Sports

A. The Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball Team has won five European league championships.
B. Even though much of Israel is desert, Israeli athletes have earned Olympic medals for canoeing and sailing.
C. Because of security concerns, Israelis do not attend sporting events at large stadiums.

Answer: C. Israeli athletes compete in top competitions around the world (and are highly respected) in spite of the fact that there are security concerns.

10.  Space and Science

A. Albert Einstein was asked to be the first President of Israel.
B. Israel has never sent an astronaut to space.
C. Four Israelis have won Nobel Prizes in science.

Answer: B. Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon was aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia on its ill-fated 2003 mission. The shuttle exploded on re-entry to the earth's atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts.

11. The State of Israel

A. Israel's current supreme court includes one Israeli Arab.
B. Road signs in Israel are required to be written in Hebrew, Arabic and English.
C. Israel's government used to be a democracy but is now a one-party system.

Answer: C. Israel's current government is actually made up of more than a dozen political parties.

12. The IDF

A. Israelis are required to serve in the military at age 18.
B. The IDF is only made up of Jewish Israeli soldiers.
C. Immigrants to Israel are also required to serve in Israel's military.

Answer: B. In the IDF, Bedouins, Druze, and other minority groups serve in the IDF just like Jewish Israelis.

13. Life in Israel

A. School in Israel often ends by 1:00 p.m.
B. Israeli kids are obsessed with baseball, just like in America.
C. Schools close in Israel for Jewish holidays.

Answer: B. In Israel, soccer is the most popular sport, followed by basketball

Part 3: Scattergories

  • Have the Israelis on your staff act as judges for this round. Or bring back your Israeli celebrity emcee and judges.
  • Categories: (you may decide to only use some of these, or to use a different set of categories from the ones used during Two Truths and a Lie)
    • Size
    • Culture
    • Entertainment
    • Technology
    • Safety and Security
    • Politics
    • Religious Nature of Society
    • The Jewish Connection to Israel
    • Sports
    • Space and Science
    • The State of Israel
    • The IDF
    • Life in Israel

Stage 3: Wrap-Up

  • Wrap-up with a discussion. Possible questions:
    • We mentioned a lot of facts today. Tell us one that surprised you. Why?
    • Did any of the incorrect facts surprise you? If so, why?
    • What incorrect preconceived notions about Israel do you think kids/teens of your age might have?
    • What could you say to them to help them see it differently?
    • Whether you have been to Israel or not, why might you want to go visit there?
    • If you have been to Israel, what impressions can you share?

Supporting Materials: