Car Pool Conversations

Sometimes the most appropriate moments for an exploration of an idea with our kids is in the car. During that dead time between home and school, or home and sports practice, lies an untapped opportunity for meaning.

Here we offer you a suggestive guide for three key conversations about Israel. The developmental level of these conversations ranges from five years upwards, but the topics under discussion underlie some of the most adult and complex issues about Israel today.

The discussions are not designed to lead anyone to any specific conclusions. What they are designed to do is to give you and your child the opportunity to develop a shared language that allows you to address complex ideas together.



Home and Homeland


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What you may be wondering:

What is all this stuff they keep telling me and my kid about ‘homeland’? What, am I supposed to completely ignore the fact that I was born in the US? I mean I do connect to Israel, and I’d really like my kids to do so as well, but this whole connection between people and place just makes me feel uncomfortable.

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Loyalty beyond me



You may be wondering:

I know we should be loyal to Israel, or at least keep our criticisms of Israel to ourselves. But I’m not sure what that means any more – let alone know how to explain it to my kids. I wish I could just tell my kids that they have to love Israel and that’s it, but I can’t. It’s more complicated than that. How do I get them to understand that you can bitch about a country that’s so important to you?

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Fences and Freedom


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You may be wondering:

This morning there was a piece on TV about the Separation Wall. It’s clear that the kids want to talk about it. Israel looked really bad. To be honest, I think the reporter’s approach was right – the wall is a terrible thing. At the same time, I don’t want to completely trash Israel for my kids. What’s an intelligent way of talking about this, without letting Israel off the hook, but also making sure my kids get how complicated it is?

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