Israel Learning Fellowship (ILF)

Kol Yisrael Spring 2022

While Israel, also known as the start up nation, is a modern, liberal, and diverse country that manages to survive and flourish with very difficult circumstances, the country also struggles with internal divisions, inequality, and a bloody relationship with its environment. In the Israel Learning Fellowship (ILF), we will work with Kol Yisrael. 

The name, Kol Yisrael, embodies the aim and methodology of this curriculum. In Hebrew, the word Kol (כל) means “all”. While we can’t provide “all” perspectives and narratives on the questions raised here, it is our aspiration to make our tent wider, to invite more voices to the table, and to cultivate resilient empathy for diverse perspectives. Each session presents competing, value-based narratives that help students understand not only the question at hand, but also why those who disagree have compelling reasons to do so.

In Hebrew, Kol (קול) also means “voice”. The content in these pages elevates Israeli voices, ensuring that when we teach about Israel, we do so through the stories, words, and experiences of Israelis themselves. Centering the “voices” of Israel in this curriculum has been humbling and inspiring. It is a reminder that learning about Israel as a Diaspora Jew sometimes feels like “family history” and other times feels like an anthropological study of a foreign people/culture.

This series will explore how ethnic minorities balance “becoming Israeli” while maintaining an identity rooted in their particular historical narrative. Exploring five of Israel’s ethnic groups, we will dive into questions of identity and inclusion. Over the course of seven weeks, we will ignite conversations about how the values of unity and uniformity animate in Israel and in our own Hillel spaces.