Ten Cool Ways to Use Israel Resource Cards

Here are ten great ways to use the Israel Resource Cards at camp! Feel free to adapt them and add your own ideas. You may download or order your own deck at theicenter.org.

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Resource Cards are a great tool for learning countless facts about Israeli history, people, and life


Since they were introduced in 2013, the Israel Resource Cards have become a go-to tool that enhances Israel education at camps and in countless other settings. Check out the ideas listed here, many of which came to us from camp staff across the country. Use any that appeal to you, or let them serve as a springboard for your own excellent ways to put the cards to use.

  1. Designate one day during each session for giving each cabin a Resource Card at breakfast, and task each cabin with finding a way to incorporate something about the person, place, event, or thing into their afternoon rest time programming. At dinner on the same day, after all campers have learned about one card, find a way for campers to share what they have learned. (If campers ever sit with groups other than their cabins for meals, mix up the seating for dinner and ask each camper to share something about the card he or she reviewed at rest hour.)
  2. Hang copies of the resource cards in bathroom stalls around camp. You'll be surprised how many people start to talk about them! (Note: Its great to hang the cards in the stalls, but remember that many campers and staff visit the same stalls time after time. Set a schedule -- nightly, weekly -- to switch the content in the bathrooms around camp so that everyone sees multiple cards.)
  3. Each morning at breakfast, introduce a Resource Card to the campers. You may already have a Hebrew Word of the Day, but a Card of the Day provides opportunities to broaden campers' exposure to important aspects of Israeli history and society. (The Card of the Day can be presented by a shaliach, an American counselor, or even by a rotating group of older campers who prepare their presentations with guidance from the GE or Goodman Fellows.)
  4. Distribute a People card to each camper in your bunk and give them five minutes to learn about the person. Collect the cards and then give the group 10 minutes to engage in a cocktail party round of informal conversation in which each camper must share as much information as possible about his or her character with the other campers. Cabins might want to make a riddle about the People cards part of the nightly bedtime ritual. Units or divisions can have a late-night contest to see which individual camper or team of campers gets the most right answers.
  5. Create a memory game based on the Resource Cards: identify cards that have a parallel in the U.S. (or Canadian) history, such as the David Ben-Gurion card and George Washington, the Knesset card and Congress, Tal Brody and Lebron James, Tel Aviv and New York, the Jordan River and Missisissippi or Colorado river, the Dead Sea and Great Salt Lake, the Negev and Mojave Desert, Hatikvah and the Star Spangled Banner, Israel National Trail and Appalachian Trail, Shekel and Dollar, War of Independence from both countries, Assassination of Rabin and Assassination of JFK, etc. Create cards by gluing the Resource cards, or printouts, onto sheet of construction paper, and gluing images of the parallel North American event to sheets of construction paper also. Start with 30 cards (15 pairs) and have campers gather around the face-down cards to play.
  6. Place Resource Cards at key points on the climbing wall. As campers descend, ask them to share what they learned on their climb.
  7. Go Fish! Played in groups of 2-5 campers, each player selects 7 cards at random. Instruct players to read the information on their cards, and then use their turns to ask other players for specific cards that they think go with their card. For example, a player who is holding the David Ben-Gurion card can ask another player for the Negev card, due to Ben-Gurion's commitment to the sothern region. Each time a player gets a pair, he or she must lay it down and explain the connection. 
  8. Place all 80 Resource Cards face-up on the floor and ask campers to do a "gallery walk" and pick two cards that resonate with them. After everyone has picked two cards, campers share their cards and explain why they chose the cards that they did.
  9. Lay out the cards and have people pick one that resonates with them and one that they'd like to learn more about. Go around the circle and let each camper share the cards they picked. The Goodman Educator, Fellows, and/or shlichim can provide nuggets of additional information as people share.
  10. Lay them out and have them pick one from each category (people, events, places, symbols) - have them explain why they chose each and find connections between the cards from the different categories.

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