Introducing Artzeinu: An Israel Encounter Reply

artzeinu.jpgReady for a completely new way of teaching Israel artzeinu?

Welcome to Artzeinu: An Israel Encounter.

Not just a travel book, Artzeinu is an insider’s guide to the people, history, and culture of Israel.

Designed for 5th and 6th grade, it’s a book that teaches more than geography, an encounter that goes into the heart and nature of Israeli life. This is not just a tour book, but an exploration of the essence of Israel.

Here’s how it works.

Artzeinu: An Israel Encounter is organized geographically, but it goes several steps further by using places in Israel to tell stories, meet Israelis, and grapple with the challenges of Medinat Yisrael:

  • In Tel Aviv learn the story of the early halutzim who turned a beach into a city, then founded a nation.

  • At the Dead Sea explore the role of archaeology and history in Israeli life.
  • In Haifa, a city that has both Jews and Arabs, that is home to the Bahai faith, and is neighbor to many Druze villages, examine how Israel struggles for inclusion.
  • In the New City of Jerusalem, look at how Israeli democracy works, and in the Old City understand how one city can be holy to Muslims, Christians, and Jews.
  • Ride to the Galilee and explore the history and future of the Kibbutz movement.
  • Down in the Negev focus on the way new pioneers are building the south with great regard for the environment, especially the conservation of water.
  • In Tzfat look at mysticism and the role Sefardim and Mizrahim played in the development of Israel.

In each chapter we meet two people. One is a historical person who played a critical role in Israel’s development. The other is a contemporary young Israeli who helps to model the diversity out of which the fabric of Israel is woven. Several chapters also contain elements that are honest about the challenges that Israel faces. The last chapter, Israel and You, moves Israel from a subject to a relationship.

Artzeinu is organized geographically, but it isn’t an Israel tour book that takes you place to place and from tourist spot to tourist spot. This is an Israel encounter that brings your students face-to-face with the real Israel. Each chapter of Artzeinu offers multiple layers for interacting with Israel:

  • Historical: Students learn about the history of the state by entering into the rich history of its people and places. They walk he first streets of Tel Aviv, learn about agricultural and urban halutziyut (pioneering), about the mystics who found a home in Tzfat, and about the builders and dreamers who built the Jewish state.

  • Cultural: Students interact with the intricate and beautiful fabric of Israeli culture. They meet different socio-ethnic groups of Jews, as well as Muslim and Christian Arabs, Druze, and Bedouins. Food, literature, and art are all part of the experience.
  • Biblical: Students explore Eretz Yisrael, the land of the Bible. Chapters expose students to the archaeological richness of the area, and challenge students to think of the relationship between the modern Jewish state and its Biblical history.
  • Challenges: Encountering Israel in a real way means delving into the challenges that face the Jewish state. Artzeinu helps students explore a number of these issues: Israel’s relationships with its neighbors, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, water issues, and environmental concerns.

And don’t forget that Artzeinu: An Israel Encounter is a product of Torah Aura Productions, which means that it’s the most well-crafted, beautifully illustrated, and thoughtfully designed set of Israel materials on the market. Artzeinu goes one step further by featuring clear and educational maps made just for us by master cartographer Joe LeMonnier, as well as illustrations and photos from Israeli artists and photographers.

Israelis threw out the kovah tembel years ago. Isn’t it time you threw out your old Israel materials? Upgrade to Artzeinu and bring the real Israel to your school.

Artzeinu: An Israel Encounter will be available in June. To pre-order, click here.

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