Barbara Weill

Age: 13 upwards. Time: 90 mins. Suitable for 20-30 participants.

Acquaint participants with different attitudes towards Jerusalem;
enable them to identify and investigate these attitudes in the group
and consolidate their ideas in a creative assignment.

Good for a new or passive group because not highly personal activity.

Preparation and Materials:
26 statements on Bristol paper (see list) to be fixed to wall before activity;
paper, pencils, pins, sticky tape, scissors, rulers, glue sticks; black and coloured marker pens, set squares.


  1. Affix the 26 statements before the group enters the room. Bring everyone in together, give them pencils and paper (5').
  2. Allow them 15 mins. maximum to read all the statements by themselves and individually select three most closely corresponding to what they feel Jerusalem is and copy them onto their sheet of paper.
  3. Everyone pins their piece of paper to the front of their clothing and now has 5 mins. to see what others have chosen.
  4. They now have 5 mins. to create small groups with others who have chosen the same three statements. Where this is not possible, two the same will do. Groups of over 5 members should be split up.
  5. Each group has 40 minutes to prepare a written, illustrated handbill reflecting the ideas upon which they have decided.
  6. 6. Presentations and summary - 15 minutes. Supplement information as necessary and discuss future study programme on Jerusalem.


  • Jerusalem can only exist as a united city.
  • Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish people.
  • Jerusalem is the holy city to the three great monotheistic faiths.
  • Jerusalem should be internationalized and adminitered by the United Nations.
  • Jerusalem should return to its pre-1967 status (divided).
  • Jerusalem will only become the capital of the Jewish people when the Messiah arrives.
  • The Palestinians have the right to return to the homes they left in western Jerusalem in 1948.
  • Israeli archeologists should not excavate in the Arab sector of the city.
  • Jerusalem is as important to the Christians as it is to the Jews.
  • The Mosque of Omar and the el-Aksa should be demolished in order to rebuild the Temple.
  • Israel's capital should be moved to Tel Aviv.
  • Jews the world over should make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem at least once in their lives.
  • Jerusalem is only important to religious Jews.
  • The whole city of Jerusalem should observe Shabbat.
  • Public transport and facilities SHOULD operate on Shabbat in Jerusalem.
  • It is Jerusalem's beauty NOT her history which makes her special.
  • There is no Jewish people without Jerusalem.
  • If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
  • Jerusalem is, above all, a work of art.
  • It is not Jerusalem on earth to which Jews refer in their prayers.
  • Jerusalem, city of gold and of light.
  • Politics have marred Jerusalem's beauty.
  • Next year in Jerusalem.
  • Jerusalem should be demilitarized.
  • Only in Jerusalem can one truly feel Jewish.

OR - make up some statements of your own and add to the list...



Age: 13-17 Time: 60 mins Suitable for: 20 participants, approx.

Examine and evaluate 4 major aspects of Jerusalem to some depth;
develop speaking skills competitively;
maintain total participant involvement throughout.

Not an overly political activity; a good introduction to comprehen-
sive areas of knowledge on Jerusalem.

Preparation and materials
36 key cards (see list); one banner for each corner with positions and
texts marked (below);
background history on Jerusalem (chronology);
paper and pencils etc.


  1. Each participant receives a key card, so that the same number are distributed from each of the four groups. Using the banner names in the four corners to understand to which category they belong, participants look for the rest of their groups and go to the corners (5').
  2. There, the group members study the information provided and build a position paper with specific examples, sufficient for a 2-minute speech, which they rehearse and polish. The speaker can take on the role of an expert, eg - a guide (tourism group); a rabbi (religion group); a government minister (politics); a professor (history) etc. (20').
    The madrichim will serve as a panel to determine the best-presented and best-reasoned definition of Jerusalem.
  3. Press Conference
    Another way of concluding and evaluating the presentations is to have the madrichim and the presenters as experts on one side and all the groups on the other side, now in the role of journalists. For two minutes each, the 4 panelists present under the chairpersonship of the madrichim, with the aim of convincing the journalists.
  4. The journalists can put questions to the 'experts' who have the right of reply - as in any press conference (10').
  5. The journalists can vote on the most convincing presentation; the madrichim can make their assessment known in terms of content, structure and style. The conclusion should also make clear that the four angles on Jerusalem are in fact complementary and that each has a contribution to make to the unity and harmony of Jerusalem.



Kings of Israel

Kol Yisrael
Yad Vashem
Israel Museum
Montefiore Windmill
2nd Temple Model
Ben Yehuda St. Mall
David's Tower
Yohanan Ben Zakai
King David Hotel
Old Jewish Quarter
Central Bus Station
Western Wall
Chief Rabbinate
Holy Sephulchre
Dome of the Rock
Armenian Cathedral
Mt. of Olives
King David's Tomb



Jerusalem's only meaning for the Jewish people is of an historical nature. This was the capital fo the first kingdom of Israel, founded by King David. It is also the site of the Temples. In every age, Jews have fought to defend Jerusalem - as long ago as the Maccabees and more recently in 1948, during the War of Independence.

Every site and landmark one sees in this town is a monument of an episode in Jewish history - which is why we feel Jerusalem's importance rests in its historical value only. The other aspects - political, tourist or religious - are of minimal importance to us because what we seek in Jerualem is actual evidence of our people's existence.

Jerusalem has alwasy been the source of political dispute and many nations have wanted to conquer it. Today, however it is the only capital in the world where the Jews have sovereignty and their independence. King David made Jerusalem his capital with the specific intention of uniting the 12 tribes.

Today, Jerusalem is different from any other capital - it is the political and spititual centre for Jews the world over and it brings them together as a unified whole. This is why we must defend our sovereign right to maintain the country's adminsitrative and political institutions in international forums. History, religions and tourism have no valid argument: it is political reality which counts - Jerusalem is the indivisible capital of the State of Israel which the Jewish people is commmitted to protecting and defending.

No Jew sould come to Israel without going to Jerusalem. Who can remain unaffected by the size of her walls, the tranquil beauty of ther garderns, and the magnificence of her blue skies? It is also a city for enjoyable and interesting holidays where you don't tan to a frazzle. It offers a wide variety of cultural activities all year round: in spring there is the Israel Festival with a large number of open-air performances under the starry night skies to the
accompaniment of the scent of flowering jasmine and roses.

Jerusalem also offers the challenge a walk in the shuk, bargaining as you eat a local sweetmeat: political debates, historical research or problems about Shabbat pale beside this taste of reality! Jerusalem is first and foremost a place to come for your holidays and tourism - may we remind you - helps Israel's economy.

Jews recall Jersualem three times a day in their prayers. From the time of Jsohua to the Destruction of the Temples, Jewish life centred on this city. Jerusalem is the home of the Temples, Judaism's holiest site, which was visited three times a year on pilgrimage festivals. The Messiah will come to Jerusalem; also, once a year at the Seder we recite, "Next year in Jerusalem!"

Today, Jerusalem is the only city in the world where Shabbat is completely observed in certain neighbourhoods and where one can hear prayers echoing from the synagogues in the streets on festivals. Only in Jerusalem can one feel Jewish, live Jewishly.

Which is why history, politics and tourism cannot detract from the primary nature of Jerusalem's religious character. Far from it - these other features are in fact subordinate to Jerusalem's religious character.

Editors & Authors: Gila Ansell Brauner, Barbara Weill. General Editor: Henrique Cymerman





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26 Apr 2007 / 8 Iyar 5767 0