A Watershed in Retrospect (The Yom Kippur War Twenty Years On - RAK REKA No. 18)

Activity Ideas

Heroism and Involvement

A three or four-part series of activities (with a double second session), involving an external survey of a number of people who were aged 20 or over in 1973, with the results of a short questionnaire being reviewed in the group at the second session. [Issues which young people could not have approached themselves are easier to handle in this indirect manner.]

Subsequently, these ideas - and those which featured strongly from previous themes - can be used to plan the commemoration ceremony which will be all the more effective for inviting all the respondents to the questionnaire.

Resource materials provided:


1. Duplicate the questionnaire and a number of copies of the articles below, with the Chronology of the War.

2. Read the first two articles with the group, discuss generally; introduce the idea of a questionnaire to investigate the Diaspora context of the war.

3. Present the questionnaire as it is - modify it with them if necessary; construct an answer sheet and make more copies for all.

4. Discuss whom to interview (aged 20 or over in 1973). No-one needs to interview more than two or three respondents. Practice interviewing in pairs.




(This can be a half-day, two-session meeting)

  1. Use the chronology and the Golda Meir interview to compare how people's recollections match or do not match the events taking place in 1973.

    In all probability, these will be very vague. This is not entirely due to poor memory or lack of empathy: the initial events of the war were deliberately under-reported from Israel because of the heavy losses and concern for the country's survival. The world at large received most of its information from Syrian and Egyptian broadcasts, claiming Tel Aviv had been captured and so on. Jews, on the other hand, believed Israel was invincible, due to the swift victories of the Six Day War; from initial calm, they gradually began to realize the seriousness of the threat and to be concerned for Israel's safety.

  2. Ask participants in groups to draw and "label":

    a. an Israeli soldier in 1967
    b. an Israeli soldier in 1973
    Discuss the images and their implications.

  3. Read Zvika's and Efrat's stories.

    With whom do participants identify more?
    Evaluate Diaspora reactions to the war and to Israel.
    You can use the following method to move the discussion faster:
    Concentric circles and posters
    With each question, move the inner circle (circle a) around one place to the left; the outer circle (circle b) remains seated.

  4. a. Israel has an automatic right to Diaspora help and support
    b. The Diaspora is entitled to decide which of Israel's policies it will support and how much it can afford to help.
    In groups of four or five from each circle, draw up plans or publicity for the way in which
    (a) communities or
    (b)individuals can or did help Israel. .


  1. Refer again to the articles above and review the answers to the question on heroism.
    The discussion should lead to comments such as:
    Heroism is relative to circumstances; .
    Heroism is different from being a hero - many people can demonstrate heroism;
    Taking a stand can constitute heroism - examples in our society/in Israel. .
  2. Optional: Draw up a plan for a commemoration ceremony and rehearse .


  • Use readings to create drama exercises and tableaux; Chinese shadows can be used to provide the visual effects; add music etc.
  • Incorporate, if desired, into the ceremony with Yizkor/El Male Rahamim, readings, personal stories (See: bibliography).
  • A poster exhibition for the room or hall.







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27 Jun 2007 / 11 Tamuz 5767 0