Emanuel School in Australia Promotes Creativity in Education

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

The teachers created the special Monopoly game in order to impart knowledge and educational, Zionist, and ecological values, with KKL-JNF at the center.

The Emanuel School in Sydney, Australia, held an event on June 25, 2018 that featured a KKL-JNF-style Monopoly game that the teachers created themselves after the teachers’ conference that KKL-JNF held in Israel in early 2018. The teachers who attended the conference in Israel went back to Australia with insights, knowledge, and a great desire to put what they had learned during their trip into action. In honor of the State of Israel’s seventieth anniversary, the teachers got the school involved in creative and experiential activities.

A delegation of teachers came to Israel in January 2018 for a ten-day seminar that was held on the initiative and partnership of the KKL-JNF Educational Division Overseas Department, the KKL-JNF Resource Development Division, KKL-JNF Australia, and various schools. The teachers got to see Israel and its residents from up close during the seminar, along with the diverse projects that KKL-JNF created throughout the country with the help of its friends from all over the world. What they learned included KKL-JNF’s contribution to bolstering Israel’s water supply, the development and strengthening of residential communities in the Negev and Arava regions, the variety of forests and parks in Israel, and the strengthening of residential communities on the periphery and in the Gaza border region.

Yigal Nisell, KKL-JNF’s Australian education emissary, said: “What has happened since the delegation was in Israel is hard to put into words. The teachers feel closer to us, the emissaries. They invite us to their activities and take pride in presenting the projects that they have worked on. We can see right away the connection and the love for the State of Israel and for KKL-JNF. The delegation’s arrival in Israel half a year ago made a great deal of change. Today, approximately six months after the seminar ended, a wonderful surprise was waiting for me when the Emanuel School in Sydney - the principal, the assistant principal, and the teaching staff, which are in charge of approximately one thousand pupils - held an end-of-year event and had the staff play KKL-JNF Monopoly, which they prepared in a particularly professional and impressive way. Also, about three months ago, they held a competition in the school community for designing the Blue Boxes in honor of the seventieth anniversary of Israel’s independence, and put the children’s designs on display.”

The excitement in the school was at a high level. While only fourteen teachers from the school were members of the delegation, their influence on the school’s three hundred other teachers and roughly one thousand pupils is moving, and illustrates the importance of their visit to Israel as part of the group.
The teachers created the special Monopoly game in order to impart knowledge and educational, Zionist, and ecological values, with KKL-JNF at the center. They hired a company to produce the product and printed Israeli-style play money that looks completely real, together with cards containing questions and tasks about various topics connected to the State of Israel and KKL-JNF. They also included all the places in Israel that they had visited on the game board. The teachers produced ten such kits for Land of Israel and Jewish studies. The game boxes feature the logos of both KKL-JNF and the Emanuel School.

The event at the school began with remarks by Terry Aizen, in which he expressed his gratitude to the school and to KKL-JNF for their work and partnership. Michelle Favero, the Emanuel School Marketing and Communications Director, who also emceed the event, spoke about the delegation’s visit to Israel. “We traveled the length and breadth of that magnificent country, visiting schools, research facilities, agricultural projects, kibbutzim, areas of extraordinary natural beauty, mountains and tunnels. We climbed by way of Safed in the rain, watched migrating birds, wept with parents who mourned the loss of their children, walked in the footsteps of soldiers at Ammunition Hill, honored the ANZAC soldiers who are buried in Be’er Sheva, sang ‘Hatikvah’ at Yad Vashem, and rode on a jeep trail on the Golan Heights. I am so very grateful for the opportunity that KKL-JNF and our school gave me.”

After the opening remarks and the expressions of thanks, the teaching staff presented the various exhibits and the year’s projects, and began playing the Monopoly game that they had created. The games were played in small groups, with a banker at each table who had been part of the teachers’ delegation to Israel. Each group served the players foods from Israel - candies, hummus, vegetables, and Bissli snacks.

KKL-JNF Emissary Yigal Nisell showed a film that summed up the delegation’s experience in Israel, and thanked the school for its vision, investment, and recognition of the shared goal of education and knowledge of the State of Israel and Zionism.

He said, “It is all very well to express enthusiasm and appreciation for KKL-JNF for its work. But to get something tangible out of it that will serve thousands of pupils over the coming years as a result of the cooperative effort - that is something that happens once in a while. I have been privileged to see that during my work as an emissary, and it gives me immense satisfaction.”

Nisell added that the next delegation will contain seventy teachers from four Australian cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane. “After the previous delegation, our goal is to show Israel via KKL-JNF. Why KKL-JNF? Because there is no other organization in Israel like KKL-JNF that can proudly declare that its work contributed to the establishment of the state and still contributes to Israel’s development and strength.”