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  • Community Engagement

Canceled: Israel for Reel (In Person)

  • Sunday, June 4, 2023
  • 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
  • Program Leader: Hannah Kearney and Tamar Forman

We are excited to be working in partnership with the ICC (Israel Cultural Connection) and trained facilitator Tamar Forman, to explore their innovative state-of-the-art curriculum, Israel for Reel (IFR). Participants can choose to attend the entire series (see below for full series), or attend each workshop as a stand-alone experience. Open to teens and adults.

The class will meet in person at TBE for six Sunday afternoons, from 2:00—4:00 pm on the following dates: April 2, 30, May 14, May 21, June 4, June 11.

Registration: Register for any session by clicking the purple button above. We kindly ask that you RSVP no later than Sunday at 9:00 am for the session occurring later that day. Email Hannah Kearny if you would like to join the entire 6-week session.

The program will explore the following:

Session 1 (April 2) Israel for Reel: The History of Israel from 1973 – Present through the lens of the Eurovision Song Contest 

The hype
The behind-the-scenes drama
The music
The shifting political, sexual, and cultural identities and politics both inside Israel and outside of Israel…

In this session we will embark on a journey into the Eurovision song contest. The Eurovision is the most watched reality song competition in the world. Every year since 1973 Israel has participated in this contest. The songs that Israel has sent to represent us throughout the years provide a unique opportunity to gain insight into the many issues facing Israel, and to experience how these issues impact the national mood and spirit in Israel.

Session 2 (April 30) Israel for Reel: “There is no place like home” – exploring the meaning of home and homeland.

We will explore what ‘home’ and ‘homeland’ mean to us as we take a look at the idea of ‘home’ in our personal lives and in Jewish tradition. Join the high drama created by Israeli television advertisements, which take aim at your heart to generate laughter, induce tears, raise questions and even evoke anger. Most of all, the media we encounter will serve as a fascinating social document as we explore the meaning of home and homeland: in our own lives, in the past and present of the Jewish people.

Session 3 (May 14) Israel for Reel: Kibbutz Galuyot (the ingathering of the exiles)- the many faces of Israel as seen through a reality TV music competition.

We will explore the personal stories, the music, and the roots of 4 young contestants in an Israeli reality TV music competition. Their stories offer a fascinating view of 2000 years of exile and return, of Jewish traditions that reflect experiences of Jewish communities all around the globe, and a look at what it means for people from so many backgrounds to all come together in the land of Israel. We will strive to understand both the richness and the challenges of Israel’s diverse and vibrant society.

Session 4 (May 21) Israel for Reel: Cousins, neighbors, friends or foes? Arab citizens of Israel

20% of Israel’s citizens are Arab. As we laugh through episodes of a comedy featuring an Arab-Israeli family, we explore the many nuances of identity that are presented in this show, enabling us to get a complex and fascinating view into what it means to be an Arab citizen of the state of Israel. This session includes a map presentation, helping participants make sense of historical developments, understanding terms like ‘Palestinians’ ‘West Bank’ ‘green line’, ‘law of return’ ‘the right of return’ etc.

Session 5 (June 4) Israel for Reel: Can you have your cake and eat it too? Can Israel be both Jewish and democratic?

Israel’s Declaration of Independence states that Israel is a Jewish state that should strive to guarantee equality for all of its citizens in the spirit of Western Democracies. We will explore what it means to be a state that is both Jewish and democratic –can these two definitions go hand in hand?  Ever since Israel’s establishment  in 1948, the challenge of maintaining this  balance has been relevant to the shaping of the present and future of Israel.  Over the last few months, a potential rupture of this delicate balance  has driven hundreds of thousands of Israelis into the streets to protest.  As we look at campaign ads launched by various Israeli political parties,  along with footage from the streets, we’ll explore where this balance is headed. 

Session 6 (June 11) Israel for Reel: On the map – taking a closer look at the Israeli/Palestinian conflict

There is no consensus on what the map of the state of Israel looks like. As we look at maps of the land of Israel in biblical times, along with maps from the last few decades, we will take on the challenging task of trying to make sense of the Israeli – Palestinian conflict. The short student films we will watch, will help us understand a host of terms and concepts relating to the conflict, but most of all, the films will give us a sense of the impact of the conflict on the lives of people on all sides of the conflict.