Fateful Decisions: "Reliving" 1947-1948
Lesson Plan Sections
0 Ratings
Add to Favorite  

Fateful Decisions: "Reliving" 1947-1948

Lesson Summary:

When Zipporah ("Zippy") Porath arrived in Jerusalem in October 1947, she expected to spend a year studying at Hebrew University and enjoying the adventures of life in the land of Israel. She did not expect to be caught up in a war or to become an underground fighter in the Haganah. In lively letters she wrote home to her family, Zipporah described the historic events that intervened to change the course of her life. This Go & Learn guide from the Jewish Women s Archive uses Zipporah s letters to explore the founding of the State of Israel from the perspective of a young American woman who joined the Zionist effort.

Enduring Understandings:

  1. There are times when people choose to risk everything for something important--for themselves as well as for their communities. 
  2. Many people have made sacrifices in order to find a community or place where they feel they belong.

Essential Questions:

  1. What does it mean to belong to a community? 
  2. What does "home" mean? 
  3. When and why are people compelled to risk their lives for an idea?

Be Inspired:The ideas included are offered as starting points as you and your students explore, discover and live the lessons. Be sure to elicit and encourage student and parent participation, consistently reinforcing the value being addressed. Allow lessons to authentically develop and change based on engagement and interests.

Lesson Plan Components

For the educatorJewish Thought, Text, and Traditionsmore

Jewish every dayIncorporate Jewish Valuesmore

Materials and resourcesmore


(accessible via link below, in "procedure" section)

  • copies of Zippy s letters
  • speakers/CD player/etc to play radio broadcast
  • paper
  • pens/pencils
  • white board or butcher paper


Explore, Discover, and More Extension and Reinforcement Activitiesmore

Music Connectionsmore

Evidence of Learningmore

  • Students will know the basic history of Jewish settlement and military action around the founding of the state of Israel in 1948. 
  • Students will be able to identify motivations of the soldiers who fought for the establishment of a Jewish state in Israel.


Lesson Contributors

The Jewish Women’s Archive is a national public history organization dedicated to telling the stories of Jewish women and inspiring change and inclusivity in communities everywhere. The collections and encyclopedia on jwa.org invite learners of all ages to connect with role models from history and today. Nearly 100 lesson plans for kids, families, and adults help Jewish educators weave stories about identity and activism into programs about Jewish values, holidays, and ritual. And, JWA’s professional development programs and trainings encourage educators to connect with one another to create new ways of engaging the communities they serve. As we say at JWA, “You cannot be what you cannot see,” so check us out anytime, anywhere, at jwa.org.