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Second Graders Connect to Israeli History by Reenacting the 1947 UN

Ramaz News

On November 29, 1947, a 2,000-year-old dream became a reality: the State of Israel was reborn in its ancient homeland. This historic moment was made possible by the UN General Assembly's adoption of Resolution 181, which partitioned the British Mandate into two states, one Jewish and one Arab.

As part of the second grade's unit on the history of the Land of Israel, and especially in light of current events, the students were excited to reenact this momentous day themselves. They set up a Model UN in class, where each student represented a different country and voted on the establishment of the State of Israel. The meeting was conducted entirely in Hebrew. Each student was provided with two flags, each of which said the name of its country in Hebrew. When the teacher called a country's Hebrew name, all students had to read their flags and determine if their country had been called. On each country's turn, the corresponding student stood and read aloud his or her country's response in Hebrew: whether it voted yes, no, or abstain. Each time a country voted no or abstain, the class booed and banged the table, understanding the emotions people felt in 1947 as they listened to the updates by radio. Every time a country voted yes, the students cheered, clapped, and jumped up and down in joy.

The class kept track of the votes with a tally on the board, lamenting when the "yes" votes seemed like they might not prevail. In the end, however, the class counted each category in Hebrew and saw that "yes" had won! They leapt to the center of the room, dancing with an Israeli flag banner and singing "Siman Tov U'Mazal Tov" and "Am Yisrael Chai." When they returned to their seats, they watched a video from the real 1947 announcement, and saw Jews around the world dancing in the streets in celebration. This class activity was an incredible culmination of their studies on Israel, helping them engage with history and connect to how events truly felt when they occurred. They finished the class by enjoying videos about the many wonderful things in Israel, from its beautiful geographic features to its important cultural sites.

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