Etgar Israel aims to provide Jewish teenagers with a foundational knowledge of the history, politics and culture of the State of Israel, providing the context for further engagement with the country’s challenges and achievements. Aimed at Jewish high school students in Year 9 (age 13-14), the programme was launched in 2018, to coincide with Israel’s 70th anniversary.
The core of Etgar Israel is a handbook which clearly sets out the fundamental information the students should know about Israel.
The book contains a timeline that sets out a chronology of the critical events in Israel’s history. There are articles that focus on key events as well as biographies of leading personalities and sections covering geography, politics and culture – and even a section on inventions developed in Israel.
The programme culminates on Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) with a table quiz for all of the competing students from the different Jewish schools. The students have to answer a series of questions based on the handbook and respond to creative challenges. The first Etgar Israel Challenge was held on Yom Ha’atzmaut in 2017, within weeks of the launch of the programme. Children from several schools had embraced this new idea and came together to celebrate their knowledge of the state, answering a series of tough questions based on the handbook, as well as a number of engaging creative challenges.