Keep up-to-date with current events in Israel and stay ahead of the latest education trends with weekly posts from Media Lab. New material uploaded weekly.

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Bring the Israeli Election to Your Classroom!

With Israel’s national elections just three weeks away, it’s time to get students thinking: Who would they vote for? What major issues are center stage in this election? Who are the different parties, and what are their platforms? How would they make informed decisions about future Israeli leaders?

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Clarifying the Complexities of the Israeli Elections – Part 2

Campaign ads play a pivotal role in the parties’ PR, and they are fascinating. What do the ads say about the Israeli political scene and public discourse in 2019?

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Clarifying the Complexities of the Israeli Elections - Part 1

Two weeks ago, Israeli right-wing political party Bayit Yehudi (The Jewish Home) joined forces with the extreme-right party Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Strength).

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Do We Want the New York Times Educating Our Children?

Do we want the New York Times to educate our students about the less romantic parts of our history or should we, educators, take on this responsibility?

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Is it all about the Benjamins Baby?

Democratic representative from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, created a stir with her tweets. She insinuated that AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) pays American politicians to support Israel, invoking the age-old anti-Semitic trope that Jews control the world with money.

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Israel: Jewish or Democratic State?

This week, we tackle the internal Israeli controversy surrounding potential Eurovision Song Contest competitors. Do you know what happened? What do your…

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Why Should the State of Israel exist?

Let me ask you a question: Why should the State of Israel exist? What’s the point? This question is not rhetorical. And the answer to this question is not necessarily self-evident.

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Is Zionism to Jews what Feminism is to Women?

leaders of the Women’s March, like Palestinian-American Linda Sarsour, a co-chair, are still on their crusade against my people’s drive to self-determination, claiming that feminism and Zionism are mutually exclusive…

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Jewish Terrorism?

Although Jewish terrorism from within Israel is certainly rare, in the last two weeks, this question on Jewish terrorism has been front and center in the Israeli media.

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The Strength of Oz

One of Israel’s greatest writers, Amos Oz’s recent passing has served as an occasion to further reflect on how to foster a deep and mature love for Israel.

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Bye Bye Bibi?

Israeli Knesset coalition, led by PM Benjamin Netanyahu, has decided to dissolve itself and head to early elections. The coalition, which held a razor-thin majority of 61 seats in the Knesset, issued a statement explaining the decision…

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Celebrating Israel's First

Israel graduated its first air force pilot from the Ethiopian-Israeli community. Lieutenant “Yod” completed the intensive and prestigious three-year pilot training course and will serve as a navigator on Israeli Air Force fighter jets. Completing this course is a tremendous accomplishment…

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I'M RIGHT AND YOU'RE LEFT!

It’s no secret that this question is relevant in the current political climate, and in many ways, the topic of Israel can serve as a strong flashpoint for this question. In this week’s newsletter, we address three smaller topics, which may not have made the headlines in the same way as other stories…

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Unearthing Terrorism

Israel launched Operation Northern Shield on its northern border in an effort to eradicate massive tunnels that Hezbollah has been burrowing into Israeli territory from Lebanon. One tunnel that Israel found is 130 ft. into Israeli territory and 6 ft. tall by 6 ft. wide.

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Israel and Or LaGoyim

We want to share with you stories that came out of Israel that are typically in our “random but important section” and put the magnifying glasses on for these stories this week, highlighting and sharing these Israeli stories with those around us…

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Air, Bed &... Boycott?

When Airbnb announced its decision to remove listings in Israeli settlements in what they called “the occupied West Bank that are at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians,” the Israeli government responded strongly.

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Stable South, Shaky Coalition

After Hamas discovered a secret Israeli operation in Gaza and killed one of Israel’s elite soldiers, the organization fired 460 rockets and mortars into Israel. One person in Israel was killed (a Palestinian from Hebron) and dozens more were injured. All this came just two days after Israel allowed $15 million (of an eventual $90 million) to pass from Qatar to Gaza in an attempt to secure a ceasefire on the Gazan border.

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Does the Punishment Fit the Crime? Terrorist House Demolition

Last week, the IDF re-issued orders to partially demolish a terrorist’s home in Shuweika, a northern West Bank village. Twenty-three-year-old Ashraf Na’alowa is accused of killing coworkers Kim Levengrond Yehezkel (29) and Ziv Hajbi (35) at the Barkan Industrial Park near Ariel in September and has been on the run ever since.

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"I Voted": A Breakdown of Israel's Elections

Over 3.5 million Israelis voted in local elections around the country, with voter turnout at 57%.  In these elections, voters were asked to determine the mayor and city council members, terms that last for five years in Israel.

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The Pittsburgh Massacre: What Now?

In this week’s column, writing about anything but the Pittsburgh massacre feels trivial. For Jewish Americans, and Jews around the world, the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in US history is cause for us to consider the question.

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Relationship Counseling: Israel and the Diaspora

On Monday-Wednesday this week, the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly convened in Tel Aviv with the slogan, “We Need to Talk.” Each year, the General Assembly (GA) convenes thousands of premiere communal “Jewish changemakers.”

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Is Studying Torah a National Service?

Israeli newspapers are abuzz with talk of possible early Knesset elections, sparked by the contentious “draft bill.” The historical background of the draft bill goes all the way back to the founding of the State of Israel.

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To Teach or Not - The Yemenite Children Affair

When Israel declared independence in 1948, the new state decided to absorb Jewish immigrants from around the world. From May 1948 until the end of 1951, more than 650,000 Jews from 70 countries moved to Israel, 200,000 of which came from Arab states who were oppressing the Jewish minority in their countries.

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Trump in Support of a Two-State Solution?

In a conversation between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the UN General Assembly, President Trump publicly voiced his support of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Although this has been the position of all the American presidents for the past 25 years, it was the first time President Trump publicly supported the idea.

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Hurting or Helping? US Cuts UNRWA Funding

The US cut funding to UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. The US has been giving UNRWA about $350 million per year until January 2018, when it gave $60 million; as of August 2018, it cut funding completely.

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Is IfNotNow Correct?

When IfNotNow (INN) started making its voice heard, many Jewish organizations responded with “Here’s what we need to do to shut them down,” or “It’s just a fringe group.” While I understand these sentiments, and I by no means endorse, agree with or support INN or its tactics, I think this discussion provides the Jewish and Israel education world with an opportunity to do our own cheshbon hanefesh, our own accounting of ourselves.

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An Abduction of Epic Proportions - Teaching Operation Finale

Last week: New movie Operation Finale hit theaters. The movie, starring Ben Kingsley as Adolf Eichmann and Oscar Isaac as Mossad agent Peter Malkin, tells the story of a pivotal moment in Israel’s history: the trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann.

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Bridges that Divide: A Jewish, Democratic State? Controversial Construction on Shabbat

The original plan: Tel Aviv municipality and the Ayalon Highway Company plan to build a new pedestrian and cycling bridge.

The Yehudit Bridge will cross the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv, one of the country’s most congested freeways, and connect the eastern and western parts of the city. The bridge is expected to reduce traffic and encourage residents of nearby cities to walk or bike into central Tel Aviv.

Perfect Programming for

Yom Ha'atzmaut

Use the power of film to make Israel Independence Day special!