Parent Empowerment Initiative: Israel Education for Parents of Teens and College Students



With so much misinformation swirling around us, even Jews struggle to understand the complexities of Israel from its inception until now. Join us for this special limited series that provides a multi-faceted, yet brief, Israel education for parents of teens and college-age students in relevant and accessible ways that empower all learners to be more knowledgeable parents, Jews, and citizens of the world. 

Session 1: The Path to Statehood 
Sunday, November 12
The creation of the State of Israel in 1948 culminated nearly a century of state-building by Jews in the Land of Israel.  In this session, we take a close look at the complexities of this remarkable, arduous task that expanded an enclave of small Jewish communities in Eretz Yisrael in 1880 — the Old Yishuv — into the New Yishuv, an extensive network of prosperous agriculture settlements and modern cities. We consider also how various Zionist ideas and visions of the Jewish State guided this state-building process and became pillars of the State of Israel.

Session 2: The Israel-Palestinian Conflict: Origins, Complexities, and (Attempted) Solutions 
Monday, November 13
How did the century-long conflict between Israelis and Palestinians begin, and why does it now look so seemingly irreconcilable? In this session, we study the competing national aims of Zionism and Palestinian nationalism -- two historical claims for the same territory -- how each intensified after the founding of the State of Israel, and the challenges of a two-state solution.

Session 3: The Hamas Problem
Wednesday, November 15
How did Hamas emerge at the end of the 1980s as an extreme expression of Palestinian opposition to Israeli rule in the West Bank and Gaza, discontent with Palestinian leadership, and absolute rejection of diplomacy and negotiation between the State of Israel and the Palestinian people? What does the emergence of Hamas as a mainstay of Palestinian leadership and authority reflect about (1) the attitudes of Palestinians toward the State of Israel and Israeli Jews and (2) the role of radical Islam in Palestinian national aspirations.    

Session 4: Israel on the American College Campus 
Thursday, November 16
In this final session, parents will be presented with real-life cases – illustrative of the political climate related to Israel – that college students are encountering on their campuses. The case studies will serve as openings for parents to discuss their concerns about these issues and consider together how they can best prepare and support their kids should they encounter these or similar scenarios. 

These sessions are offered at no charge as a gift from the Melton School to the Jewish community.




Professor Howard Lupovitch is professor of history and director of the Cohn-Haddow Center for Judaic Studies at Wayne State University. He specializes in modern Jewish History, and is the author of Melton’s popular course, “The Star and The Cresent: A History of Jewish-Muslim Relations.”  (Instructor for Sessions 1-3)



Dr. Joy Getnick PhD is the Executive Director of Hillel at University of Rochester. She loves working with students, is deeply committed to Jewish pluralism and community building, and enjoys fostering opportunities for young adults to explore Jewish traditions, ideas, and heritage in new and meaningful ways. (Instructor for Session 4)

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