Just as this course assumes that a fully realized Jewish identity should include feeling at home in the geography of Israel even if one has never set foot there, so too, we feel it is important to be oriented in the “map” of Jewish history: to have a sense of the flow of Jewish chronology in the context of world history, to be aware of major turning points and personalities. Moreover, we believe it is important for a teacher to be involved in the conversation about the historical significance of Israel: did the Jews “leave history” when they lost their national independence? Did we “return to history” in 1948? Are we living in messianic times? How we relate to Israel and how we teach Israel are inseparable from these philosophical questions.