The Beit Ha’am program was developed by the World Zionist Organization – Department for Diaspora Activities to encourage discussion on the subject of Zionist identity and attitudes to the State of Israel.
The program includes a diverse selection of traditional and modern texts that explore a range of subjects and aim to spark lively discussion about Zionist identity among Diaspora Jews in general, and the younger generation, in particular. The discussion will address what binds the Jewish people, wherever they may be, as well as what divides and separates us.We will consider the meaning of Jewish political independence of the people dwelling in Zion and the reciprocal relationships between Jews living in Israel and those who live in the Diaspora. This represents an opportunity for everyone, irrespective of prior knowledge, to get to know and enhance their knowledge about the significance of Zionism in the 21st century, to engage in discussion, reflect on its substance and the extent of its relevance to our lives.
“Beit Ha’am” Catalogue
The Beit Ha’am program includes 13 educational booklets and many more supplemental handouts. Each of the booklets and handouts incorporates texts from a variety of sources (philosophers, academics, intellectuals, media, political leaders, Hebrew poets and Jewish sources). These are coupled with creative activities and links to relevant Israeli videos and songs that will inspire conversation about the designated theme.
The Beit Ha’am program can be purchased on our website (http://www.izionist.org/na/beit-haam-z-talks). Shipping to anywhere in the U.S. is included in the cost of each kit.
Each kit includes:
- Topical booklets (printed)
- Supplemental handouts (electronic copies)
All materials are available in Hebrew and English.
- Leadership Near and Far: The Right to Doubt– Examining leaders and reflecting on leadership in order to strengthen the next generation (includes an electronic copy of a Leader’s Guide supplement).
- “This Object is Me” – Between the Individual and the Group: Examining Identity Issues with Hanoch Piven – A workshop that discusses questions of communal and personal identity.
- Yitzchak Rabin: The Man that was There– Quotes, important dates, and writings about Rabin, his leadership and his personality.
- Rabin Memorial Day z”l – A collection of sources for a memorial day event.
- Not by the Right of Might but by the Might of Right: Menachem Begin’s Philosophy and Leadership – Excerpts of speeches that teach us about Begin’s worldview and vision.
- The Vote: 11/29/1947 – A discussion on the United Nation’s vote on the Partition Plan and what could have happened if the result was different.
- Walking a Tightrope: The Supreme Court Balancing Jewish and Democratic Israel – Explore topics of deep relevance in contemporary Israeli society, and learn about the sets of values that the Supreme Court must weigh when rendering judgments. This session can also be offered with a short film and option for a guest lecture.
- The Jewish Voice – Written for the 2015 Israeli Knesset elections, this booklet touches upon the question of Diaspora Jewry’s right to exert influence on the State of Israel and, conversely, the right of the State of Israel to exert influence on Diaspora Jewry.
- Tu B’Shvat – Suggestions for an alternative Tu B’Shvat seder that connects the holiday to ecological issues relevant to both Israel and the Diaspora (includes a Leader’s Guide).
- Jerusalem Day – Learn about Jerusalem and celebrate the many contrasts that characterize this holy, yet secular, ancient, yet modern city (full and condensed versions available).
- The People’s Army: Operation Protective Edge – This booklet seeks to raise issues for discussion regarding the continued reality facing Israeli cities and towns located on the frontlines of the conflict.
- Between ‘Memory’ and ‘Forgetting’: An Anthology for Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day – Twelve diverse texts, all of which explore memory, in general, and the memory of the Holocaust, in particular.
- Sukkat Shalom – A Tabernacle of Peace: Anthology in Memory of Shimon Peres z”l – Peres was one of the most prominent statesmen in Israel and around the world. He had the privilege of leading Israel beginning in its earliest days.
The handouts are short, raising one or more issues that relate to a holiday or topic. Some of these are explored through a selection of texts that are not immediately seen as connected to the topic, but, through discussion, offer a unique perspective of the subject.
Jewish and Israeli Holidays Supplements:
- Rosh HaShana and The Month of Elul
- Channukah – Strengthen the light
- Purim – a Feminist Zionist reading
- Israeli Memorial Day – Suggestions for a ceremony
- Israeli Independence Day
- Tisha B’Av
- The Uniting and the Dividing of Peoplehood – Exploring ways to overcome the differences that divide us. From the Tower of Babel to today, discuss ways how we can unite as a people.
- Bird on the Wire – Anthology in memory of Leonard Cohen z”l
- Why Not Uganda? – Follow the imagination of Israeli artist Yoav Gati as he creates the would-be Jewish homeland: The Republic of Eden in Uganda.
- Ohel Ha’Am – We invite educators and students to take a tour of the 2011 Social Protest in Israel, and its tent cities, to learn about and connect with the protest. We divided this supplement into three topics – Education, Health and Housing.
- Land of Soy Milk and Date Honey – During the last decade, the vegetarian and vegan trends have gained enormous momentum throughout the world. Israel has had a place of honor in this revolution. Is there a connection between the choice of a vegetarian / vegan diet and Judaism? How is it that Israel has the largest percentage of vegans and vegetarians per capita, and is one of the world’s leaders in vegan cuisine?
- Pray for the Wellbeing of Jerusalem – A special edition in the wake of the Western Wall Plan turmoil. This is an opportunity for us to delve into the disputes: those which are “for the sake of Heaven” and those which are “not for the sake of Heaven” that have accompanied the Jewish people for generations.
- The Army of the People – On non-combat roles of the IDF – Operation Protective Shield – Written during the operation, this handout deals with questions of transparency, democracy, and the obligation of both the U.S. and Israel to each other.
- Leadership Near and Far: The Right to Doubt– Leader’s Guide.
- Beit Ha’am (Promotional Video)
This three-minute video presents Beit Ha’am. What is the program and what are its goals? Take a look at the Beit Ha’am materials, pictures and videos highlighting Beit Ha’am events around the world. View the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjLi6wi4EcI
- Herzl Returns
In this short video, Herzl returns to and arrives in the State of Israel. What he sees gives rise to thoughts and challenges. Included in the video are questions and topics for discussion. View the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPHxRXUkZmc
Beit Ha’am kit costs $120 (including shipping).
For any further information, please contact Rotem Malach, Central Shaliach, at firstname.lastname@example.org