Yom Hazikaron: Degrees of Separation

Yom Hazikaron: Degrees of Separation

This lesson focuses on the challenge of marking Yom HaZikaron (Israel Remembrance Day) for North American Jewry. We explore the notion of commemorating in the wider American context, and expand on this to discuss Israel’s Remembrance Day, and what it means to commemorate from a distance.


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  • The students will grasp the challenge of commemorating the fallen from a geographical and psychological distance.
  • The students will be challenged to assess the role of a mourner from afar
  • The students will explore the meaning of being connected to Jews they have never met
  • The students will explore various ways of moving beyond the obstacle of distance, allowing North American Jewry to connect to Remembrance Day
  • The students will be challenged to draw closer and connect to the fallen soldiers in Israel, despite the distance
  • The students will be given the opportunity to design their own program to mark Israel Remembrance Day



  • Part 1: Trigger exercise – In the first part, students will participate in drama exercise to introduce the theme of the lesson.
  • Part 2: Discussion –
    • A. September 11th – The students will explore the idea of commemorating from afar by learning about the September 11th memorial in California, and discussing how they think the tragedy should be marked by those who were not affected personally by it.
    • B. Yom HaZikaron (Israel Remembrance Day) – The students will apply their 9/11 discussion to marking Israel’s Remembrance Day and be challenged to think about how they should commemorate the day.
  • Part 3: Connect to the fallen – The students will attempt to connect to the fallen and bridge the gap of distance. They will select from a variety of materials to draw closer to the stories of the fallen soldiers.


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