More than ever, North American children and teens want to discuss Israel.

Sivan Zakai, author of National Jewish Book Award winner My Second Favorite Country: How American Jewish Children Think about Israel has advice for ways to approach discussing the current crisis with our kidsYou can find additional advice from educators such as Michelle Shapiro Abraham and others here

You may be seeking lessons, maps, timelines and other materials you can use today to refresh your own knowledge, engage kids (and even their parents) in discussion, help them find answers to their questions, and grapple with the historical context of today's crisis.

We have put together suggestions for lessons and a selection of online and free downloadable resources from the Behrman House library to support your conversations and classroom sessions with learners of all ages. 

For our youngest children

Our development profiles tell us our three- and four-year-olds are curious, care deeply about friends and significant adults, and love to listen to stories. As the discussions around them continue to center Israel, they can participate through read-aloud stories.


We have made the following titles from Apples & Honey Press available online to read with your kids - for FREE.

Avi the Ambulance Goes to School and Avi the Ambulance to the Rescue. Created in conjunction with the American Friends of Magen David Adom, who raise money for ambulances in Israel, these books show how Israelis are taking care of each other.


Fast Asleep in a Little Village in Israel, by Israeli author Tzivia Macleod.  

As the crisis continues, household tension can rise. While we can’t stop what’s happening, we can provide reassurance to young children and help them feel more secure. We suggest Mommy Can You Stop the Rain, by child psychologist Rona Novick, PhD. There is a guide for using the book with children and teens of any age HERE. 

In a particularly emotional moment recently, residents of an apartment complex in Holon, Israel, gathered on their balconies to sing Hatikvah. A video was posted, and you may wish to pair a viewing of that with the reading of Erica Lyons' book Alone Together On Dan Street, a story for 4-7 year-olds of another apartment community coming together to sing the Four Questions from their balconies for Passover during the pandemic. The comfort of community in times of trouble is a key theme of this sweet book.


Children may also wish simply do a colorful and calming activity that might also spur them to share what's on their minds. Author and Illustrator Ann D. Koffsky has created Israel themed coloring pages. An additional page is available here.


For school-aged children

We are offering primarily written materials. At a time when the internet is soaked with images of tension and violence, time away from screens may be just the respite kids need, even as they want to know more about what is happening and why. If you do not already have these materials in your school, we are offering excerpts of the titles below as free downloadable instant lessons. (some links still to come) 

The lessons below offer context on two issues that have become hot topics: the history of the connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, and conflicts over the security of the State of Israel in modern times.

Elementary Grades

Welcome to Israel (grades 3-4)

Building Jewish Identity 4: Jewish History and Heritage (grades 4-5)

Experience Modern Israel (grades 5-6)

The History of the Jewish People, vols 1 and 2 (grades 5-6), by Jonathan Sarna and Jonathan Krasner



Middle and High School (or Adult)

Israel...It's Complicated and Israel...It's Complicated Teacher Resource Guide (grades 6-7)

Israel Matters (grades 8-adult)

For a deeper history dive, especially for adults wishing to get up to speed quickly, try Jewish History: The Big Picture. A leaders' guide is also available as a free download.


Teacher Resources