Sivan’s Journey to Orthodox Judaism

In this video, learn from Israeli journalist, educator and media personality Sivan Rahav-Meir as she explains why she became religious, why Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination affected her so strongly, why she’s not a superwoman and what Israelis can learn from American Jews. After watching the video, use the prompts below to learn more and get your students thinking.

  • Discussion
  • Activities
  • Further Learning
  1. In the interview, Sivan explains how Jews living in the Diaspora learn so much about Israel and Israelis as well as have access to trips like Birthright. However, according to Sivan, Israeli Jews don’t learn enough about Jewish life and Jewish communities in the Diaspora. But, let’s take a step back. Do you agree with Sivan that Israelis should learn more about Jews in Diaspora?
  2. Sivan discusses how the assassination of Yitzchak Rabin deeply affected her and impacted her own personal journey. Make sure to watch our video on Rabin and his assassination. Yet, she takes us on a different path that we might have imagined. She suggests that when a religious Jew killed Rabin, she actually wanted to become religious after that because murder should never be cloaked in religious language. If you were a teenager/young adult at the time of Rabin’s assassination, how do you imagine you would react and why?
  3. When discussing the effect of COVID-19 on her life, Sivan references the following quote from the Jewish sages “the walls testify who you really are.” What can you learn from this quote? How does it apply to your own life?
  4. Who is the Jewish person that you would be most star struck to meet? Explain.
  1. When asked what Sivan believes is the common denominator that unites all Jews, she said that she thinks it is the Torah and specifically the weekly Parsha (portion). What do you think is the common denominator that unites all Jews? Ask your students to write what they believe is the common denominator that unites all Jews on a piece of paper and ask them to paste their common denominators on the wall around the room. Then, send your students on a gallery walk to see the various ideas presented and finish up with a discussion.
  2. Through journaling, respond to the following quote from the Lubavitcher Rebbe “Don’t be a fan, be a player” by answering the following questions:
    • What does this quote mean to you?
    • How can you integrate it into your life? Which different aspects of your life?
    • Write about a time in which you followed this advice.
  3. Over 80% of Jews across the globe live in the United States or Israel, and Sivan spoke about the chilled relationship between Israeli and American Jews. Read this article about the different factors dividing the two communities. In groups, come up with three concrete suggestions of how to unite the two communities.

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