The Situation Room: A Staff Week Program

This program uses the model of the White House Situation Room to help Israeli and American staff members work together to create Israel programs for the summer.

Curriculum Themes: 

Materials Required: 

Program Duration: 

Physical Space: 

Age of Campers: 

Core Learnings: 

A Kibbutz is a rural community dedicated to mutual aid and social justice
Kibbutzim went through a period of economic and social crises for nearly two decades
In recent years, Kibbutzim report growing numbers
The collaborative process of creating a kibbutz activity can be used for any other Israeli concept or historical event


1. The facilitator should announce the groups and give them each a folder that contains a document with instructions (the document has variations so that you can give each group a slightly different task).

2. The facilitator should explain that the groups have XX amount of time to create a program for a cabin/large group of 8/12/16-year-old campers. The program should impart the following information about Israel using 7 of the 10 listed ingredients below. Once time is up, the groups will present their programs to a 'cabinet' of division heads who will vote on which program is the most engaging and creative while also including the following information.


  • The kibbutz (Hebrew word for “communal settlement”) is a unique rural community; a society dedicated to mutual aid and social justice; a socioeconomic system based on the principle of joint ownership of property, equality, and cooperation of production, consumption, and education; the fulfillment of the idea “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”; a home for those who have chosen it. 
  • The first kibbutzim (plural of “kibbutz”) were founded some 40 years before the establishment of the State of Israel (1948).
  • Degania (from the Hebrew “dagan,” meaning grain), located south of Lake Kinneret, was established in 1909 by a group of pioneers on land acquired by the Jewish National Fund. Their founders were young Jewish pioneers, mainly from Eastern Europe, who came not only to reclaim the soil of their ancient homeland, but also to forge a new way of life. Their path was not easy: a hostile environment, inexperience with physical labor, a lack of agricultural know-how, desolate land neglected for centuries, scarcity of water, and a shortage of funds were among the difficulties confronting them. Overcoming many hardships, they succeeded in developing thriving communities which have played a dominant role in the establishment and building of the state.
  • After almost two decades of an economic and social crisis in most sections of the Kibbutz Movement, resulting in a sharp decline of Kibbutz population, the last few years are indicating a fresh and a new trend.
  • Recently, many Kibbutzim report growing numbers of youngsters – singles and families – seeking to join Kibbutzim, either as permanent members, or as non-member inhabitants. The main obstacle to a more speedy response to this potentially promising trend is lack of housing for absorption. In 2010, there were 270 kibbutzim in Israel. Their factories and farms account for 9% of Israel’s industrial output, worth $8 billion, and 40% of its agricultural output, worth over $1.7 billion.


a game of some kind (not sport)
a warmup activity
hula hoops
planting a garden
a debate
designing a brand new Kibbutz
a sports practice/activity/game


You can do this activity using any Israeli concept, historical event, etc.  

Curricular Subjects: