Learn About Israel: Online Resources About Israel!
An award-winning podcast that tells extraordinary tales about ordinary Israelis. Often called “the Israeli ‘This American Life,'”, Israel Story brings you quirky, unpredictable, interesting and moving stories about a place we all think we know a lot about, but really don’t.
A Youtube channel full of short videos that explore big questions and dissect complex topics. You’ll get all the information you need to easily navigate through these complicated issues and develop informed opinions about Israel and Judaism. From history to religion, food to culture, we’ll explain and answer the questions you have about Israeli and Jewish life.
When they’re young, kids can explore the culture, sites, and sounds of Israel through story books, recipes, and activities with local PJ Library programs. While some children learn about Israel directly through phone calls, video chats, and visits with family who live there, many other children experience Israel as a special, far-away, place depicted in stories and their PJ Library books.
3 Falafels in My Pita – This early counting book introduces children to the sights and sounds of Israel.
Ella’s Trip to Israel – Readers will follow a young girl named Ella as she takes her first trip to Israel with her family.
The Colors of Israel – When you think of Israel, you think of blue and white — but Israel is really an entire rainbow, and this book has the pictures to prove it.
Everybody Says Shalom – The first thing to know about Israel? Everybody says shalom — a little word that means so many things — and there are so many places to see and visit.
Around age five, children are often attracted to stories that feature people, places, and events with connections to their own lives. The children’s books listed below feature stories about special friendships with Israel serving as a backdrop to the central theme of the story.
Sammy Spider’s New Friend – When an Israeli family moves in next door, little Josh Shapiro and Sammy Spider learn about the mitzvah of welcoming guests. In the process, they each make a new friend and learn some Hebrew words.
Shmulik Paints the Town – Meet Shmulik, an artist, and his dog, Ezra. When the mayor asks Shmulik to paint a grand mural to help the town get ready for Independence Day celebrations, Shmulik has trouble focusing on the task at hand.
Snow in Jerusalem – Two boys living in Jerusalem — one Muslim, the other Jewish — are surprised to discover they’ve been looking after the same stray cat.
Yaffa and Fatima: Shalom and Salaam – Yaffa and Fatima are dear friends, despite coming from different backgrounds. When times get tough, how will they look after each other? This rendition of a classic Jewish folktale is an inspiring look at how friendship perseveres.
Since children in this age group are drawn to more complex stories, two of the selections in this list feature true-tales from Israel’s history. The third book, Israel, is unique among the books in the PJ Library catalog but still offers children a good jumping off place to start learning about, exploring, and asking questions about Israel.
A Concert in the Sand – Learn the true story of the creation of the Israel Philharmonic.
Israel– This vibrant, over-sized, board book is a hunt and find book, similar to the Where’s Waldo series but with illustrations and characters drawn from Israel. This title is great to pack for long trips or in the event of a rainy vacation day. Kids will have a blast identifying the diverse group of characters hidden in each scene.
The Language of Angels – Eliezer Ben Yehuda had an idea: He wanted to make Hebrew a spoken language again. But that meant that somebody had to be the first person to grow up speaking it, and that someone was going to be his son, Ben Zion.
Yuvi’s Candy Tree – Plucky Yuvi, a little Jewish girl living in Ethiopia, dreams of a place where candy grows on trees. Based on a true story, this book tells of Yuvi’s extraordinary journey to Israel with her grandmother — a passage from famine and fear to oranges and freedom.
The Cats on Ben Yehuda Street – Mrs. Spiegel loves her two cats, but it’s clear that her grouchy neighbor, Mr. Modiano, doesn’t share her warm feelings. Should we be surprised that, when one of the cats goes missing, it is Mr. Modiano who searches the streets of Tel Aviv to find her?
Middle School (Tweens)
As children age and are exposed to world news whether online or in print, they may encounter–and question–aspects of the history of Israel. Parents can sometimes feel at a loss for where to start. Here are links that can help guide discussions about conflict in Israel:
Reframing Israel – Reframing Israel inspires Jewish children and teenagers to learn about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ask challenging questions, develop a strong commitment to social justice, and discover their unique voices.
Teens & Adults
Educational Experiences in Israel – Spend the most thrilling summer of your life travelling across Israel. Learn about alternative solutions to environmental and ecological issues. Earn high school or college credit through learning and living on a kibbutz. Travel to Prague and Poland to see first-hand how Israel has been shaped by Jewish history around the world. Engage in grassroots Jewish-Muslim and Arab-Israeli dialogue to explore conflict resolution. Connect peer-to-peer with Israelis and learn about their lives from the source. And the list goes on…
Israel Forum – Read a variety of articles, blogs, and op-eds submitted by Reform leaders spanning all topics from elections to culture to Israeli cinema.