IMPACT | Seminars and Workshops
Each presentation is interactive and educational, utilizing multimedia and the most effective pedagogies for “one-off” learning led by an IMPACT Israel educator. All topics can be expanded into multiple sessions to be run as a day seminar or miniseries.
The Israel Update seminar gives a basic overview of Israel’s political system, the Arab/Israeli Conflict, greater Middle East issues, and domestic issues within Israeli society. At the end of an Israel Update, participants should have a basic understanding of the current political situation in Israel and a desire to learn more upon completion of their trip.
Conflicting Narratives of the Conflict
This session is a deep dive into the meaning of two peoples – Jews and Arabs or Israelis and Palestinians . We will examine how two self-identified nations make equal claims to the same space which is rooted in history, archaeology, theology, and myth.
Occupation? Liberation? Annexation? Huh?
The normalization of ties between Israel and its Arab neighbors was framed as stopping Israeli annexation efforts. But if Israel took over the West Bank in 1967, why is the land still technically not sovereign Israeli territory? This session will help students understand Israel’s relationship to a territory it usually refers to not as the West Bank, but Judea and Samaria, diving into the many dilemmas it possesses for Israel’s politics, security, and Zionist identity.
21st Century Challenges for Israel Society
What are the main challenges facing Israeli society in the coming decades? This session analyzes societal trends, issues within the Jewish world, and long- term national security threats.
The "Israel" Conversation
In The “Israel” Conversation session, we address common misconceptions of Israel in everyones mind which is usually not representative of the reality on the ground. This session is recommended as an opening session in the beginning of a group’s experience in Israel.
Why Wont Antisemitism Just Go Away?
With most Jews living in Israel or North America by the turn of the 21st century, it was common opinion that antisemitism was almost gone for good. However, it has reared its ugly head all over social media. We will tackle why antisemitism is different, persistent, back with a vengeance, and if there’s anything we can do about it.
Israeli Politics: I Dont Get It
In this session, we will explore Israel’s political system and structure, along with the multiple and diverse political identities, blocs, and parties prominent in Israel. This context will help us address where Israeli politics and society are today and through understanding Israeli political identity, you will engage with how Israel is understood – and many times misunderstood – outside of Israel.
The US-Israel Relationship
Why are the United States and Israeli governments so close? What’s in it for the US? Why do Israelis care so much if their government has a close relationship with the White House? Why in some years do the leaders of each country agree, while in others they can’t seem to get along and what is that impact on the relationship? This session will explore the many layers of the US/Israel Relationship and discuss where it may be headed in the future.
Am I A Zionist?
This session will delve into the purpose of Israel and the lives of Jews from outside Israel. We will discuss a fundamental Zionist idea that Jews are a nation with a shared land, language, and culture. Most importantly, participants will explore their personal connections to Israel and discuss if and why they are a Zionist.
Meet Mike "The Settler"
Mike Unterberg is an educator, Orthodox Rabbi, ardent Zionist, and surprisingly to most, a center-left voter. You are invited to Mike’s house in Efrat to have a conversation on why he lives where he lives, his views on Zionism, Israeli politics and the Israeli-
Why Isn't Israel Woke Enough?
Why are young Jewish progressives made to check their Zionism at the door if they wish to join social justice spaces? Why is Zionism and support of Israel a cancellable offense? What is it about being woke for many that includes seeing Israel as an evil without any moral claims or legitimacy? Through exploring the philosophy, ethics, and culture of wokeism, we will explore what is going on and if there is anything we can do about it.
The Online Israel Conversation
Israel is everyone’s mind when conflict flares up in the region. But more and more the perception of Israel is less of what is happening on the ground, but rather a mirror image of how Israel represents issues happening in people’s home countries. We will explore how Israel is understood and misunderstood online, and discuss if we think the online Israel conversation can be based more on reality than fake news.
Judaism In Israeli Society
In this session, we will tackle the challenge of Israel being a Jewish state for all Jews of different streams, beliefs, and backgrounds. What role do issues of religion and state play in the daily life of Israelis? This session will help participants conceptualize and explore what place religion should play in a Jewish country.
What Does A Jewish Democracy Look Like?
Israel functions as a compromise between several Jewish & non-Jewish tribes – secular Jews, national religious Jews, ultra-orthodox Jews, and Arabs. We will explore the compromises, and sometimes lack thereof, between these groups. Using the text of the Declaration of Independence, we will analyze if and how Israel can be a Jewish state with equal rights for all individual citizens.