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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gush Katif Education Week: Remembering is the First Step to Rebuilding

Gush Katif Education Week: Remembering is the First Step to Rebuilding
By Sara L. Shomron

Next week, Jan. 23-27, hundreds of schools across Israel will designate a special Gush Katif Day or week by learning about the history and relevance of Gush Katif to the country’s development. Those schools that participate in the voluntary program do so in cooperation with the “Gush Katif and Northern Shomron Memorial Law” passed in 2008 and with the approval of the Ministry of Education. The dynamic and engaging programs can include speakers from former Gush Katif communities, relevant videos, and the now available Gush Katif educational kit. These kits, produced by the Gush Katif Committee, are in Hebrew only and provide student-friendly, grade appropriate legacy materials (kit details: Orit Berger, oritberger33@gmail.com).

Some 600 schools have already purchased the new Gush Katif educational kits. These schools predominantly represent the state-affiliated religious system. Perhaps this is reasonable to some but this writer thinks education is the key element in molding our future and that of our children. We need to reach out. After all,the forced removal of Jewish citizens and destruction of the Gush Katif communities affected all Israeli citizens regardless of religious and political affiliation. The nation was and remains divided. Is this schism endemic to Israeli society?

The Gush Katif Committee posts Hebrew and English updates on the plight of the former Gush Katif residents here

An exciting "Literature Study Guide for Grains Of Sand The Fall Of Neve Dekalim" power point slide–show presentation is now available here. Post-reading activities and project ideas here

A Youtube “Gush Katif” search will produce a host of videos, English and Hebrew, from which to select.

Facebook offers, in English, the "Gush Katif - historical fiction novel" page introducing "a more personal look and awareness of former GK residents and issues still being grappled."

Suggested Gush Katif books in English can be found here

9 comments:

Ra'anan said...

I think there is NO schism in Israeli society. I think that there is a schism between Israeli "mainstream" media & society. I doubt that the Expulsion could have occurred w/o Israeli media (as well as other institutional)cooperation. The real question is how far citizens are willing to bend. I think that we are maybe an OVER-tolerant nation.

Netivotgirl said...

Ra'anan got there before me! He took the words out of my mouth! I took part in Dati/ Irreligious / Charedi meetings for 3 years at Sapir college with irreligious folks from places like Ibbim and Kfar Azza. (I among others represented the Charedi sector, though you can't peg me as that or Dati Leumi; I HATE labels! UGH!)Many from the Gush also took part, like Rav Yair Hiller.

Those meetings were an eye-opener. I was convinced because of the "Tishkoret" that folks not yet religious HATED us all. (ya' all know that dati leumi folks are all violent na'ar gevaote and charedim are all lazy parasites who should be .... well 'ya get the idea.)

Sara Layla you do such chesed for Am Yisrael by publishing this horrific historical event!!! I've said many times that outside of my Mom's death z'l, nothing upset me more. And, had I been among the evicted, I'd be in Abarbanel hospital by now.

May Hashem bless all of you and may you be zoche to rebuild your homes with the coming of Moshiach tonight!!!

Sara Layah said...

Real interesting points, Ra'anan.
For sure the media can make or break events, stories, news coverage with its unaccountable, persuasive, and potentially dangerous power. I agree that Israeli "mainstream" media along with cooperation from various institutions and organizations strongly influenced public thought about the expulsion. Perhaps the public is in a deep, media-fed stupor. I shudder to think what will transcend it and wake us all up.

Thanks for sharing your "tishkoret," mass media communications experiences, Netivotgirl. I fear the divisive stereotypes are gonna destroy us from within.

Netivotgirl, I am sorry for the deep and personal loss of your mother z'l. But with all due respect, while former residents of Gush Katif were immediately adversely affected by our expulsion (myself and family included)- it happened to all Jews - everywhere - may we merit to speedily rebuild Gush Katif

Iris said...

this is a MUST see Gush Katif video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gl-LmSNmOEo It's so filled with hope and inspiring

Sara Layah said...

There are so many, many poignant videos on Gush Katif, Iris, that I felt it best not to mention any one particular video. And they are hosted on other sites besides youtube(e.g., wejew.com).

I agree the video link you mention does give hope. I, too, find it encouraging, strengthening and forward-looking. I think it's for these reasons that some teachers I've spoken with look to use it during Gush Katif education week. Plus it has a teacher/student guide - now publicly available http://www.slideshare.net/saralayah/guide-to-gush-katif-a-celebration-of-the-settlers-video

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
This time of year, again... Every year I think about how many students were too young to clearly remember what happened before, during and immediately after the Expulsion. Who remembers Yamit? Marking Gush Katif Education Week is an essential part of keeping the Gush alive, encouraging the return to the Gush and preventing, G-d forbid, another expulsion.
Yishar Co'ah (hats off - loose translation) to Sara and everyone else working to keep Gush Katif in the public's awareness.

Sara Layah said...

Hadassa, of equal importance to me is that the youth, and the public at large, be able to empathize with our national loss, grief, and pain. For this to happen we need to have our voice and narrative heard. The Memorial Law calling for “the founding of a memorial center that will commemorate the settlements of Gush Katif and Northern Shomron through the endowment of national values” and the Gush Katif Education Week are both excellent steps in the right direction.

Netivotgirl, the devastation you equate with loss of your beloved mom and land sends a shiver down my spine. Though this quote was written about India, I think it aptly applies:

"Love your country. Your country is the land where your parents sleep, where is spoken that language in which the chosen of your heart, blushing, whispered the first word of love; it is the home that God has given you that by striving to perfect yourselves therein you may prepare to ascend to him." ~Giuseppe Mazzini

Keli Ata said...

Impossible I know but I wish they would teach about what happened in Gush Katif in US schools, at least at the college level.

Sara Layah said...

Everything is possible, Keli Ata! A New Jersey middle school student read Grains Of Sand The Fall Of Neve Dekalim for a school history project. He then contacted novelist Shifra Shomron, corresponded and interviewed her via email as another aspect of his research. His Gush Katif project, "In the Shadow of a World Destroyed: Memories of an Expelled Teenager" earned a grade of 100 and was entered in the Southern Regional Division of the New Jersey National History Day "Conflict and Compromise" themed Competition at Rider University (April 30, 2008). It was among the ten winning entries chosen from about 32 exhibits for the Individual Category, Junior Level (Grades 6-8). The exhibit featured Grains Of Sand The Fall Of Neve Dekalim and included past and present information about Gush Katif.

Here's what this amazing student has to say about Gush Katif and "Grains Of Sand" http://tzometfriknfrak.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2010-08-08T12:14:00-07:00&max-results=7