Educating in a Time of Crisis

We are heartbroken and outraged by the horrific situation continuing to unfold in Israel. We grieve for all who have been killed, injured, or taken hostage, and pray for a swift end to this darkness.

As events in Israel continue to evolve, The iCenter is creating resources and learning opportunities, as well as providing one-on-one support to think strategically about engaging in meaningful conversations with your community.

EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

The iCenter team has put together an educational companion to enrich your 2024 Passover experience. We have curated timely educational resources that connect with 12 rituals which are central to Passover.

View Passover 2024 Educational Companion

The Words Matters resources and activities can guide thoughtful, probing discussions around some of the hottest, most controversial issues related to the war.

View Words Matter Collection

The iCenter has curated this reading list to help us dive deeper into major topics related to the current crisis. We hope these books provide insight and context about Israeli society, key actors, and Israel’s place in the world.

View Suggested Books Resource

Members of The iCenter team share some of the podcasts they’ve been listening to since October 7. Each in its own way, they all enable listeners to be in “conversation” with current events, trending topics, popular music, and more.

View Podcast Resource

You’ve got questions; these FAQs offer lots of easy-to-access information to help dive deep as you guide learners through critical thinking about challenging topics of the day. 

View FAQ Resource

AUTHENTIC VOICES

Following the horrors of October 7, stories have begun to emerge of the heroism of everyday Israelis during the day itself and in the weeks following. Explore this selection of powerful stories of everyday Israelis stepping up to support people in their communities and across Israel in this time of crisis.

View “Everyday Heroes” Collection

The rhythms of life for all Israelis were drastically changed following the shock of the October 7 attacks. Listen to Israelis of different backgrounds share how their lives have been altered—in ways big and small—as a result of the war.

View “Life During the War” Collection

The unfathomable number of victims of the October 7 attacks can be hard to comprehend. This selection of stories provides a look into the people whose lives were cut short. We encourage you to explore them and reflect on how the stories and their themes can be introduced to your learners.

View “In Memoriam” Collection

During the attacks of October 7, Hamas and other terrorist groups abducted an estimated 240 Israelis and foreign nationals. In the months since some of these hostages have been released while some have been declared dead. We encourage you to explore these stories of those still waiting to come home, and reflect on how the stories and their themes can be introduced to your learners.

View “Still Missing” Collection

ART THAT CONNECTS US

Artwork by Ira Ginzburg

Art expresses fear, love, anger, despair, and hope. The Design Duty portal offers digital illustrations for insight into Israel’s reality. This iCenter resource helps educators connect learners with Israel through art. All artwork is freely accessible for sharing.

View Resource

Artwork by Daniella Resnick

Artistic expression is booming in Israel. Since October 7, Israeli artists across all disciplines are using their art as a way to take action and tell stories, as calls for political action, as a means of escape, as a way to remember and to foster unity, and so much more.

View Resource

SONGS THAT SPEAK TO US

Choref 23” (״חורף 23״) came out on October 22, less than 2 weeks after the October 7 massacres. It describes feelings many Israelis felt during the attack still feel today.

Watch Video | Download Lyrics

“U’me’poh Nakum” (״ומפה נקום״), is a song of hope that nostalgically describes the mundane life in Israel before the war and a hope to return to it and “rise” again.

Watch Video | Download Lyrics

Eyal Golan released “Am Yisrael Chai” (״עם ישאל חי״) on October 19th. It is a song of unity with religious references throughout, something uncommon in wartime songs in years past.

Watch Video | Download Lyrics

Doron Talmon, lead singer of Jane Bordeaux, wrote a new song, “Lo Levad” (לא לבד), meaning “Not Alone,” to help  process the October 7 attacks. In the linked video, she opens with a brief poem about the emotions people are feeling after the attacks.

Watch Video | Download Lyrics

Shai Tsabari’s “Kochavim Bashamayim” (“כוכבים בשמיים”) allows us to reflect on October 7’s aftermath, exploring hope amidst despair. The song celebrates bravery and unity while acknowledging the daunting uncertainty of the future.

Watch Video | Download Lyrics

Lashuv Habaitah” (“לשוב הביתה”), released by Ishai Ribo in 2017, reached #2 on the charts—unusual for an Orthodox Jew in Israel’s music scene. Since October 7, its poignant lyrics have been interpreted as a passionate hope for captives’ safe return.

Watch Video | Download Lyrics

Hanan Ben Ari released “Moledet” (״מולדת״), “Birthplace,” which explores how Israelis have pulled together in times of difficulty. Ben Ari said, “This song is dedicated to my nation. The one that we’ll create again when all this is over.”

Watch Video | Download Lyrics

In “T’filat Haderech” (“תפילת הדרך”), “The Traveler’s Prayer,” Shai Tsabari blends the traditional blessing with present-day challenges, offering comfort and unity to Israelis since October 7. 

Watch Video | Download Lyrics

Music has the power to calm, heal, and give voice to emotions that can be difficult to express.

Explore this selection of songs curated for the challenging days since October 7.

View Resource

Israel is filled with stories of musicians who are making their art and themselves available to the public. Many musicians are advocating for the hostages and creating beauty in times of hardship. Here is a sampling of some of those songs and stories.

View Resource

POETRY THAT INSPIRES US

Between the Fragments of Kibbutz Be'eri

by Eliaz Cohen

Eliaz Cohen is a peace activist and an educator. He is also the father of three soldiers who are protecting the lives of Israelis while putting their own at risk. His poem echoes the timely and timeless conversation between humans and God, a reminder of how fragile, resilient, and responsible we are at the same time. May God and us always look after the bird.
DOWNLOAD POEM

Artwork by Alice Korenyouk

Hear, O Lord

by Eliaz Cohen

This poem—a conversation with the Shema prayer—reverses the traditional paradigm. Here, the poet is commanding God to remember God’s covenant with Israel, to bolster Israel during this time of great sacrifice and pain, and to always remember and revere those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Written by Eliaz Cohen, an observant Jew, during the Second Intifada, this powerful new “prayer” applies as much today as it did when it was written more than two decades ago.
DOWNLOAD POEM

Artwork by Rotem Maor

For Weeks I've Been Bleeding Poems

by Eliaz Cohen

Iris Eliya Cohen’s poem demonstrates the futility of language when faced with the tremendous personal and collective pain we’ve been living with since October 7. But even when we don’t have the right words, or any words at all, the poem reminds us that our souls and minds have the capacity to hold together sorrow and hope, today and always.
DOWNLOAD POEM

Artwork by Karin Mel

Good Day

by Tal Shavit

Tal Shavit wrote “Good Day” in the days following her move to Switzerland from Israel in October 2023. She watched from afar the way Israeli civic society mobilized by volunteering and contributing to the collective efforts and diverse initiatives. Just like many in Israel and around the world have felt since October 7, the poem expresses the desperate need to be active and help, while at the same time battling feelings of exhaustion and anxiety.

With gratitude to Rachel Korazim
DOWNLOAD POEM

Artwork by Revital Ziv

Now Close Your Eyes

by Eliaz Cohen

Many of us feel that there are no words to describe the horrors of October 7 and the days that followed. Like the poem, we wish that we can close our eyes and imagine that it never happened. Unfortunately we have to open our eyes and live with the pain and losses, cherish the lives that were taken and pray for the return of the hostages and the wellbeing of our soldiers and everyone who is in pain.
DOWNLOAD POEM

Artwork by Alice Korenyouk

Each of Us Has a Name

by Zelda

In Israel, on each Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) the Knesset, Israel’s house of representatives, holds a ceremony named for this poem. During the ceremony, members of Knesset read the names of those who lost their lives in the Holocaust, to ensure each name is heard and remembered. Following the atrocities of October 7, the act of sharing the names of those whose lives were lost, and those still held hostage, has taken on new significance to ensure their names are heard and not forgotten.
DOWNLOAD POEM

Artwork by Marie Lavis

The Silver Platter

by Natan Alterman

On December 15, 1947, while fundraising for the defense of the future Jewish state, Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann said, “The state will not be given to the Jewish people on a silver platter.” The poet Natan Alterman took these words and wrote the poem, “The Silver Platter,” which he published four days later in his weekly newspaper column. Today, Israel is again fighting for her very existence, and that victory, while attainable, will not come on a silver platter.
DOWNLOAD POEM

Artwork by Rotem Maor

VOICES FROM THE FIELD

IN SERVICE OF TRUTH

by Rabbi Jan Katzew

As servants of truth, educators in the trenchant phrase of Parker Palmer, require “the courage to teach,” to take a moral stand, to defy the post-modern trend of moral relativism, and state unequivocally that some actions are not only wrong; they are evil.

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THE QUESTIONS OF TODAY

by Dr. Lesley Litman

Our families, children, and staff are bringing their questions and worries to us. Our job is not to have a ready answer to all questions. Rather, it is to listen carefully to the essence of the question and approach your response accordingly.

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LOOKING BACK TO LOOK FORWARD

by Carl Schrag

As educators, we strive to provide context for understanding the content we teach. It can be overwhelming to learn about current developments if they’re approached in a vacuum, as if nothing that happened previously has set the scene.

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AN ENDURING UNDERSTANDING

by Rabbi Jan Katzew

“As an educator, I am thinking about imprinting. What do I hope learners will remember 40 years from now? What will our current students be saying to their children and their students about October 7, 2023, and following?”

Read More

CONSULTATIONS

Schedule a Consultation

We are committed to helping you find intentional strategies for engagement in these unprecedented times. Sign up for an individual consultation with a senior iCenter educator who will support you in navigating this moment with your community.

WEBINAR RECORDINGS

Dr. Rachel Fish

As part of The iCenter’s Pro Seminar series, we’ll examine the significance of moral clarity when facing complex ethical dilemmas, strategies to cultivate moral courage, and valuable insights that can shape our perspectives and decision-making amidst today’s crisis.

Watch Webinar Recording

Dr. Lesley Litman, Dan Tatar, and Ayal Weiner-Kaplow

Join together with The iCenter team to navigate through these challenging times for Israel and the Jewish world, and emerge with new insights and ideas for your school communities. In this interactive session, we will delve into the challenges day school educators and leaders are grappling with, drawing from some of the most common questions we’ve received in recent days. This will be a time to share your collective wisdom and to bring the questions you are hearing from your students, parents, and others.

Watch Webinar Recording |  Download Padlet

Carl Schrag

Recent developments in Israel have sparked deep responses from people throughout our community and raised questions about how these events might affect the course of history. The iCenter’s senior educator Carl Schrag, former Editor of The Jerusalem Post, will provide context to current developments. Following a brief update, we’ll explore ways to bring the news to learners in meaningful and age-appropriate ways.

Watch Webinar Recording

Leanne Matlow

Many of us are struggling with how to speak to our children and youth about the events in Israel, and how to answer their questions in a way that is truthful but also mindful of the mental health of those we love. To help respond to the many inquiries we have received about how to talk to our kids about Israel, we have organized an opportunity to learn with Leanne Matlow, a cognitive behavior therapy counselor from Toronto whose expertise is working with children and teens with anxiety.

Watch Webinar Recording | Download Suggested Strategies

CURATED RESOURCES

We invite you to explore resources created by our partner organizations.

תחנות יסוד קשורות בתחום החינוך לישראל

Related Building Blocks of Israel Education