Are we really fostering a deep connection with Israel?

Jake Davidson

Managing Editor

One of the goals in our schools mission statement is to “foster a deep connection with Israel.” Yet I constantly wonder how we are supposed to maintain a deep connection to Israel in our time at Milken if we are never truly educated about the Holy Land until second semester senior year or if we embark on the Tiferet Israel Fellowship Program.

Personally, I have a deep connection with Israel that stems from knowing many of the stories and facts behind our homeland.

Yet I didn’t learn that at Milken, I learned it on my own.

Why don’t we have a class early on in high school that educates us on the entire history of Israel from 1948 to the present day?

I know how this class would work because recently in Hebrew I experienced an Israel-based discussion which was in fact engaging, informative and fun. My teacher started to tell us a story about the six-day war that related to the text we were learning. It was only supposed to be a short story to help us learn the lesson, but in the end, students had many questions about the war in general. It is quite obvious that the majority of the students in my Hebrew class don’t know their Israeli history.

These stories turned into a two-day mini Israeli History class that taught us about the Yom Kippur War and the 6 Day War and why they were important to always remember and teach. These two days of class proved to be incredibly interesting and one of the better educational experiences I have ever had.

Now I understand that Hebrew class may not be the proper arena for these types of lessons to be taught, but I do think that there should be a class created in freshman and sophomore year that teaches Israeli history. When kids don’t know integral parts of our homeland’s history, how can it be expected that they develop a deep connection to that place?

If Milken wants to continue to emphasize this mission, then it is the duty of the institution to provide the means to educate us as students on these topics. With this knowledge, then and only then I feel that the majority of Milken students can “foster a deep connection to Israel.”