Israel Resource Cards
A deck of cards is one of the oldest forms of entertainment around. Hundreds of games and activities have been created using just a single deck. These cards have been used extensively across multiple educational settings. They are rich in content and designed to model excellence in Israel education. We offer ideas for using the cards to help build relationships among and between participants, and to empower them to take ownership of their learning as they discover many of Israel's stories and deepen their own connections to those stories.
WHAT’S IN A DECK?
This newest iteration of our widely-popular Israel Resource Cards uses a holistic approach to showcase many aspects of the people, places, sites, events, and cultures of Israel. These cards were written to reflect a relational approach to education and aim to bring to life the rich stories and narratives that help shape our relationships with Israel and Israelis.
In the playful style of Trivial Pursuit, cards are organized in the following categories:
WAYS TO USE THESE CARDS
With the suggested activities listed below, consider the following questions:
- What are my goals?
- How might I use these cards to support my goals?
- How do I imagine participants interacting with/using these cards?
- What cards should I use? What cards are not here that I could add?
Choose a handful of cards with which participants may be familiar. In small groups, each group chooses three cards. Each group then constructs a “day in Israel” using these three cards. Suggested steps:
- Brainstorm all possible themes that might link the three cards together. Then choose one theme to construct your day.
- Create an opening activity and a closing activity for the day.
- Describe the narrative thread that connects the three cards.
Remember, this isn’t about reality—so put aside the fact that you might not be able to go from Tel Aviv to Eilat to Haifa all in one day. It’s about process!
Each player selects seven cards at random. Reading their cards, they need to ask other players for specific cards that they think will go with their card. For example, if a player is holding the David Ben-Gurion card, perhaps they ask for the Negev card since the two have an association. Upon laying down the pairs, each player needs to explain the way(s) in which the cards are connected. This may require the player to extend their imagination a bit. If they aren’t sure of their card, they can choose from the middle pile of cards, and pose a question, theme, idea, or statement that somehow connects the two cards.
Choose only the “People” cards and ask the group: If you had to tell the story of Israel through the narrative of five people, who would you choose? Which five people collectively tell the story of Israel?
Have each group share and discuss why they chose these figures.
Ask participants to choose three cards that relate to Passover (or Purim, Rosh Hashanah, etc.). In small groups, have them explain the reason they chose each card. Ask one person from each group to share with the larger group.
For an older audience:
Ask them to create a theme that emerged from that conversation (i.e., freedom, belonging, or home).
Utilize them as a tool on an Israel experience to empower North American staff to “share the stories” (i.e., Hannah Senesh’s story on Har Herzl or in Caesaria, or the poet Rachel at the Kinneret cemetery).
With all the cards spread out on the floor, ask participants to do a “gallery walk” and:
- Version 1: Pick out one or two cards that resonate with them. Go around the circle and have participants share why they chose the cards that they did.
- Version 2: Have people pick one card that resonates with them and one that they'd like to learn more about—have them share both stories.
- Version 3: Pick one card from each category (People, Events, Places, Symbols). Have participants explain why they chose each card and find connections between the cards from the different categories.
A number of different editions of Israel Resource Cards have been developed to bring Israel stories and content to your learners in a variety of fun and educational ways. Each of these sets include a sampling of cards chosen to support different educational goals within specific settings, and are not intended to be comprehensive. Explore the many different editions below.
Israel Experience Edition
Included in this edition are cards that can be useful for introducing participants to people, places, and ideas that they may encounter of their Israel experience.