Yom Hazikaron - Activity Ideas

I. Ceremony Endpoint

The most appropriate form of public activity is a ceremony of commemoration. This is, however, only the endpoint in a creative process which should be the outcome of a process of study and clarification.

Elements of the ceremony

Group procession;
Flags at half-mast;
Suitable scenery;
Compere/Master of Ceremonies;
Main address by guest;
Shadow images / creative movement performance;
Yizkor for the Fallen;
Prayer for the State of Israel & for the IDF.

II. Creative Study Process


A combination of commemoration and the hope for "a new day dawns, a blessed day" [see selection from Yitzhak Rabin's latter speeches].


  • Study the period with maps, films and make transparencies, charts;
  • Study the IDF, its operations, its insignia;
  • Selections of modern Israeli poetry and psalms;
  • Focus on the peace process.

Projects for Presentation:

  • Commemoration leaflet as hand-out;
  • Illustrated guest book;
  • Flag-bearers' procession and formation choreography;
  • Creative movement;
  • Select & record background music, sound effects for ceremony;
  • Exhibitions on sub-themes;
  • "Stage" scenery;
  • Shadow theater preparation;
  • Script the verbal section of the commemoration, with the readings.
  • Liturgical sections require stage-managing & rehearsal.

Readings [see also files]:

  • poems and creative writing
  • Nathan Alterman;
  • Uri Zvi Greenberg, Amir Gilboa, Chaim Hefer
  • Shaul Tchernikhovsky
  • Psalms
  • from Israel's Declaration of Independence - if for a combined ceremony, also marking the beginning of Independence Day; Yizkor etc. [as above].

Ongoing Projects:

  • Twinning projects with young Israelis;
  • Individual album projects for younger age groups;
  • Drama in Hebrew activities.

III. Clarification Process

It is our recommendation that the preparations for Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha'atma'ut should not be solely a function of a calendar date, but should be integrated into an ongoing, overall curriculum of Israel and Jewish studies so that the preparations for the day have a meaningful starting point for the participants. To suddenly direct youth groups or entire classes whose members are otherwise unconnected to Israel in their daily lives into an unheralded, in-depth Commemoration project presents enormous obstacles.

We therefore recommend drawing up your curriculum, study or project series with the following aims to be expressed in various sessions:

  • Create a sense of identification with Israel;
  • Establish an identification with Israel's sense of loss;
  • Explore the priorities and problems confronting Israel;
  • Seek a means of expression of this identification process.

Some important elements in this process will therefore be:

  • Finding a personal link to the day;
  • Clarifying how different people feel about the day, the ceremony;
  • Deciding how to commemorate the loss.

Essentially, this also implies that participants require some basic historical and geo-political background [depending on their age], with older age-groups addressing the issues arising from areas such as: Zionism, the need and struggle for Jewish independence, Israel's wars and the peace process. There should also be some ongoing contact with Israel, whether it is a twinning project, a regional quiz, or any other series of events.

In terms of curriculum for specifically older age-groups, we recommend a reverse historical direction in the curriculum, as it is easier to involve pre-college students from the Current Events* angle and then proceed to base these in their historical, cultural and geo-political context.




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17 Apr 2007 / 29 Nisan 5767 0