Sunday, June 5, 2011

Solidarity With Israel

Today was Israel Solidarity Day/Walk With Israel.

I must admit to being less than impressed with the whole event. Too much speechifying, without enough crowd-pumping. I know that the Maccabeats performed at the end, but my small companions pooped out before the entertainment!

So here are my Israel-loving companions:

My children have a pretty strong connection to Israel, even though they've never been there. They know that their parents met there, they know that we lived there for a time, and they know that their Uncle Harry lives there. They also hear about it all the time, they read books about it, watch videos about it...and they know that they will travel to Israel when they're older. We talk about those journeys all the time.

...but I must admit that the Walk With Israel leaves me doesn't inspire. It's hard to get the kids to enjoy something that I find to be missing the proper excitement and energy. I have to think a little harder about what I want to do about it in the future. Where's the sparkle!? I know that there are so many political issues and questions about Israel...but that doesn't matter - I want my children to Ohavei Zion - lovers of the land of Israel.

How do you inspire your children to love Israel?

For some beautiful pictures from Israel and around the world go see my pal, Robin at Around the Island, who is again hosting Summer Stock Sunday. And link up!
What are you up to this summer?


SouthLakesMom said...

I'm so glad Robin is doing this blog - I'm "meeting" a whole new group of folks.

I like your summer stock photos! The kids are cute and I LOVE the holding hands photo.

I'm in the DC area and this was the Susan G Komen weekend, so I didn't hear anything about a solidarity with Israel walk ... is it nationwide?

Robin said...

Maybe it's the lack of food? No good Jew could get excited about any event that didn't feature food ;). You're long overdue for a visit here btw if you're still thinking that watermelons are a shekel a kilo - time to bring those kids over to see for themselves, because in all seriousness that's what really creates a strong connection.

So glad you're participating again this year Phyllis, and thanks for the FB love too.

Elisa said...

Today was the parade in NY, and our temple didn't go...mainly because our calendar meeting was scheduled for the same day. It was also at said calendar meeting that I took on getting a group organized from the temple for next year's parade. I guess NY is unique, because there's something darn cool about marching in a parade up Fifth Avenue...and while there have been issues before with the parade here, it's still a great experience.

But I think connection to Israel goes beyond that. It's like the eternal camp debate about Israel Day...does it make more sense to have a day all about Israel, or to infuse Israel into all of the activities? (my answer: at the end of the day, both)

As for how? It's what you're doing. Talk about it. Watch videos. Listen to music. Eat food. Connect on FB. Check out videos on You Tube.

And also to talk about the problems (in an age appropriate way, of course). This is especially true when they get older, but even for younger kids, I think we do Israel a disservice if we present it as this magical, perfect place. That doesn't create a real relationship. We can do social action projects for Israel just like we do for our own home areas...and as kids get older, start to explore some of the issues. We don't always agree with those whom we love the most. No reason that shouldn't be the case with ahavat Yisrael, as well.

Leora said...

We marched down 5th Avenue this year. My main criticism would be - it's nice to emphasize school spirit, but I would have preferred they (our school) sang more songs in support of Israel and less cheering of the school's name. But the leaders work very hard - it went well.

Hope you can have an influence to get the program to be more kid-oriented and less political.

Ima2seven said...

Chaviva Galatz over at Just Call Me Chaviva makes an excellent point that the most direct way to help inspire kids to be connected to Israel (other than going) is through the language.
There are so many little things that we can and should be doing to sneak just a little more Ivrit into the home....

Batya said...

I2-7 ditto
twinning with Israeli kids
watching Hebrew children's shows and planning a visit, even if it's "pretend"
"What woul you like to visit?"