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Shorashim’s Club Israel hosts Yom Yisrael-A Celebration of Israel

A great opportunity to enrich the Hebrew programs in the public high schools by providing a meaningful and fun educational event.

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For the fifth year, on May 16 Shorashim’s Club Israel hosted a community wide excursion day for over 300 students from the Chicagoland area as well as Milwaukee’s Nicollet School. Students enrolled in the Hebrew programs at Glenbrook North, Glenbrook South, Highland Park, Deerfield, Evanston, Niles North and Nicollet were treated to a cultural and educational program in honor of Israeli Independence Day, Yom Haatzmaut. In conjunction with Young Judaea, Friends of the Israel Scouts, JSU and with the support of JUF’s Israel Education Center, students and teachers were able to enjoy a live performance by an Israeli artist, feast on a typical Israeli lunch, learn traditional Israeli folk dances and compete against all of the schools in a game of ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ consisting of Israel trivia.

David Beinart, a talented artist from Jerusalem, performed his original songs and shared his musical background and song-writing experiences in Israel with the students. Beinart’s sound is a unique fusion of Israeli rock and American folk. From hip covers of American hits to his personal compositions and Israeli classics, Beinart’s expressive music catered to a large crowd. Most of his songs were performed in Hebrew, thus enriching the student’s Hebrew vocabulary. Beinart gladly welcomed students on stage to perform with him and the concert ended with a duet of Yachad with Bryan Schenkopf, a student from Glenbrook North. 

Following the performance, students had the opportunity to mingle with peers from all of the schools while enjoying a catered lunch of falafel, schwarma, hummus and salad. Students were then taught a variety of Israeli dances by Meytal Ozeri of Young Judaea.

All of the students then reconvened for the educational program, ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’, with questions pertaining to Israeli history, culture, and society. Each school sent up a student representative to participate in the game show. All of the students were very engaged as a friendly competition took over the room and the teens tested their Israeli knowledge and learned new facts.

To close the event, Beinart took the stage once again to perform his hit, Marionettes. Students were provided with the lyrics in Hebrew and sang along with Beinart. Finally, the entire community united to sing Hatikva, Israel’s National Anthem.

Students left the excursion day with the opportunity to buy Beinart’s CD. They were also provided with printed lyrics in Hebrew and English and some delicious Israeli candy. The teens had a great time at the event and Semadar Siegel, a Hebrew teacher at Evanston said that her students are already asking when the next excursion day will take place. Siegel commented that “These events make them feel part of a bigger community and that is very valuable. As Hebrew students in a huge public school they often feel like a minority. Shorashim gives them an opportunity to connect to their roots through cultural and educational programs and they meet other friends during these field trips.”

Yom Yisrael was a great opportunity to enrich the Hebrew programs in the public high schools by providing a meaningful and fun educational event. The teens were able to interact with their peers from many schools while experiencing Modern Hebrew language and contemporary Israeli culture.  

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