Iyar 5771 May 2011

Iyar 5771
May 2011

Dear Friends of Makom Bagalil,

It turns out that independence is not as simple as we thought. On the one hand, of course, we are celebrating the 63rd anniversary of the Jewish ''emergence from powerlessness,'' of the existence of a Jewish state with an army, able to set its own path in the world. On the other hand, we have learned that that doesn't mean we are free to do whatever we want. Rather, the key word is perhaps not independence, but interdependence. Our lives and futures, it seems, are intertwined with those of the Palestinians - with those of Diaspora Jews - and indeed with those of the rest of the world. We are not independent of the global economy (as factories relocate from Israel to China), from global warming, from the ''Arab spring(?),'' from western culture. Perhaps our greatest challenge is not in preserving independence, but in learning to live with interdependence.

In our work here in the Galilee, we see our task as helping build an Israel characterized by a sustainable balance between independence and interdependence, between a distinctive and value-laden Jewish identity and open-minded and caring citizenship in a diverse and complex world.

Thanks for your interest and your invovlement. Best wishes for a joyous and optimistic Yom Ha'atzma'ut.
Rabbi Marc J. Rosenstein, director

Galilee Circus - The Next Generation

Sarah Herr, our student intern from Germany, has made a number of important contributions to the Galilee Circus during the year, and we will be sorry to see her leave. Perhaps most impressively, she initiated, planned, and executed an intensive training course for our advanced performers, to qualify them as junior coaches. They'll be running a circus day camp this summer, which we hope will help us recruit new kids for the fall.

We have been in touch with the Kfar Hassidim youth village near Haifa, which works with immigrant youth, including Ethiopians and Bene Menashe. They are interested in having a group of their students join the circus in the fall; we are excited about this prospect, and are now seeking funding to hire a van to bring them to weekly practice.

Global Reach

In addition to our educational programs here in the Galilee, our staff has been working quietly for years on various projects around the world, to apply our nuanced and interactive approach to Jewish education in general and Israel education in particular. Several of these have been on assignment from the Melton Centre for Jewish Education at the Hebrew University. For example:

  • in-service curriculum on teaching Israel for teachers in Jewish schools (Makom and UJF Pittsburgh)
  • in-service training programs on teaching Israel (Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Palm Beach County)
  • evaluation research on Senior Educators' Program (Melton)
  • the Israel Strand of the Chai Curriculum for Reform religious schools (URJ).
  • an ongoing project to revise the Jewish history curriculum for upper school, King David School, Johannesburg (Melton)
  • eighth grade Jewish history curriculum, Bialik School, Melbourne (Melton)
  • weekly Torah portion units for teaching Israel in summer camps (URJ)

If you think we can be useful to your institution or community, let us know.

Remember New Years' Cards...

...before e-cards? As mentioned in a previous newsletter, singer-songwriter Chava Alberstein has donated a set of her paintings from her latest CD booklet, to support www.dugrinet.co.il, our Hebrew-Arabic website. We have converted the paintings into colorful 4 x 6 in. top-fold note cards, and will be happy to send out packets of 8 assorted cards with envelopes, as follows (via air mail):

Contribute $18 - receive one packet of 8; $30 - two packets; $40 - three packets; $50 - four packets

To donate, click here; then send us an email: hmakom@netvision.net.il

Sample Card: Feel free to forward this offer to friends who might be interested!


A sampling of recent participants in ''Neighbors'' encounters with Israeli Arab teens and students:

  • Kehillah High School, Palo Alto.
  • Harvard Law School - Jewish Students Assoc.
  • Solomon Schechter School of Westchester
  • Congregation Neve Shalom, Portland
  • Otzma
  • Aderet Pre-Army Leadership Institute

Having provided a series of seminars on Israeli society for ''Netzer'' (Reform) gap year students, we are now doing the same for ''Noam'' (Conservative). Here they are at an army education base:

Our Hebrew-Arabic web magazine, www.dugrinet.co.il, recently sponsored another in its ongoing series of public events to highlight social action projects: a conference on Arab women's employment and empowerment, at Sindyanna of Galilee, a women's center for social change in Kfar Manda.

The ''Jewish Spirit in the Galilee'' coalition of Jewish adult education organizations, of which we are a part, recently sponsored its third event of the year, an evening devoted to the ''culture of memorialization'' in Israel.


Circus to Save the World - See our website for information on the Galilee Circus - and on how to adopt it as a tzedakah project for bar/bat mitzvah celebrants or for schools. Write to us to request brochures for your synagogue or organization.

''Circus Kids,'' a prize-winning documentary on our partnership with the St. Louis Arches, by Alexandra Lipsitz, is available for showings at festivals. Click to watch a trailer.

For useful background information on Arab-Jewish relations in the Galilee, click here.

Gailee Diary

Rabbi Rosenstein's weekly ''Galilee Diary'' on life in the Galilee is available on-line. A selection of entries from the first eight years of the Diary has now been published in book form, and is available from the URJ Press.

Scholar in Residence

Rabbi Rosenstein will be in the US again in December; if your community is interested, let us know.

Join us in making a difference!

We welcome contributions of any size to support our work, on line or by check. For instructions, click here.

Thank you!
For more information please visit, call, or write:

Galilee Foundation for Value Education

Moshav Shorashim,
D.N. Misgav 20164
Tel. 972-9902431
Fax. hmakom@

Galilee Circus Practice