Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Program Spotlight: Kesher Kit: The Maryland - Israel Connection!

Are you an educator whose class is studying Israel? The Kesher Kit may be perfect for you!

Tal and MoranInspired by the 60th anniversary celebration of the founding of Israel and along with the previous exhibition Dateline Israel: New Photography and Video Art, the JMM created Kesher Kit: The Maryland-Israel Connection, an educational resource that explores connections that Jewish Marylanders have with Israel, past and present.

Each kit includes innovative lesson plans, biographical sketches, timelines, glossaries, and reproductions of archival documents historical photographs, and images from the Dateline: Israel exhibition. (Dateline: Israel was curated by the Jewish Museum in New York.)

The main objective of the kit is to provide engaging and innovative lessons so students can understand the lives of Maryland Zionists during the early years of the establishment of the Jewish state. The lessons enable students to develop critical thinking skills as they examine and analyze contemporary photographs documenting current life in Israel. The lessons are also designed to strengthen the student's own connection to the State of Israel.

Five Marylanders have been included in the resource kit because of their contributions to the establishment of the State of Israel. Included are Henrietta Szold (this lesson is intended for elementary school students but can be modified for high-school students), Rudolf Sonneborn, Dr. Herman Seidel, Mendes I. Cohen and Jacob Blaustein. All of these colorful figures have wonderful stories and each has made a significant contribution to the development of the State of Israel.

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