In addition to our experiential study tours Perspectives also offers a number of interactive workshops designed to educate and challenge group members on issues of concern for Israel and the Jewish community. It is our belief that through a nuanced engagement with these issues we will foster a more inclusive and confident Jewish community, ready to confront the challenges that face it.

All workshops will be custom tailored based on the age, education and background of the group.

1. Israel’s Diverse Voices

The multitude of voices within the Israeli political-social discourse can be very confusing to those trying to present ‘the Israeli position’ to others. What does it mean when an Israeli minister compares Palestinian suffering to the experiences of his grandmother during the Holocaust? Why did 400 people, including many prominent professors, sign a petition calling upon IDF pilots to disobey orders if called upon to strike Iran? And why did some Israelis come out against the fence/wall or against Israeli military action in the territories?

This seminar will raise many questions relating to Israel as a multi-faceted liberal democracy with a multi-cultural society and a plethora of voices and opinions.

  • Is there such a thing as ‘the Israeli position?’ Is that the same or different from policies pursued by the current government
  • Do such views expressed above undermine my arguments in support of the fence, or in defense of Israeli military action?
  • Is it even possible to ‘defend’ Israel with all these contradictory voices?
  • Can I disagree with the Israeli voices stated above or with other Israeli voices?
  • Where do I find my voice within this?

This two hour interactive seminar is sure to spark an intense discussion covering these topics that will leave participants with a heightened sense of appreciation for Israel as a diverse and loud liberal democracy and with a better idea of where their voices fit within this context.

2. Disengagement from Gaza: a case study

In 2005 the Israeli government forcibly evacuated 8,500 Israeli citizens living in the Gaza Strip during what became known as the Gaza Disengagement. The public debate surrounding the disengagement highlighted increasing polarization within Israeli society, with the scars, seven years on, still felt on all sides involved.

During this workshop participants will learn about the story of the Gaza disengagement through testimonies from those directly involved in the disengagement story. The arguments employed by both proponents and opponents of disengagement will be analyzed, with participants encouraged to zero in on the core issues involved. Participants will leave the workshop with a greater understanding of the people and the issues involved in one of the most divisive public campaigns in Israel in the past decade.

3. Right, Left, Center and me – what do these terms mean and where do I fit in?

What have the terms Right and Left traditionally meant in Israeli politics and what do these terms mean today? Do these terms help us understand today’s complex Israeli political scene Or can we come up with better terms and methods?

This workshop will challenge pre-conceived notions of right and left, terms thrown around all too easily, and will suggest a more nuanced and in-depth approach.

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