4HQ "Home" and "Homeland"

"Home" and "Homeland"

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"Home" and "Homeland"

By: Mason Voit
To be
In Our Land
  • Requires Printout
  • 90 mins
  • AGES: 15-18 19-22 23+

Lesson Sourcces

  •  Part 1: Home quotes“Ho...
  • home quotes
  • Part 2: DiscussionWhat is home...
  • Leah Goldberg
  • Share brief bioShow PhotoRead ...
  •  Pines (Ilanot) By Leah G...
  • part 4- noa (Ahinoam nini)
  • Share brief bioShow photoListe...
  • Ilanot - Achinoam Nini and Leah Goldberg (subtitles)
  • Discuss:What does Achinoam Nin...
  •  Part 5: Goldberg and Noa...
  •  Part 6: Home and IsraelH...
  •  Part 7: Rak po (Hebrew f...
  •  Part 8: Other songs to i...
  • Arik Einstein - “How Good th...
  •  Part 9: Optional: Create...
  • Sikkum – RecapDo you think o...

Introductory Aims

Enduring Understandings

  1.  An essential component of Jewish identity is the idea of Israel as the Jewish homeland.
  2. To develop a connection to Israel, American Jews must consider what is the relationship between themselves – individually and collectively – and Israel.

Essential Question:

  1.  What does it mean to have a “homeland”?
  2.  What does it mean to have a homeland that is not the place where I live?
  3.  Is it possible to have more than one “home”?
  4.  What are the components of feeling “at home” in a place?



  1. Learners will explore the idea of what is a “homeland”
  2. Learners will consider what it means to have two “homes”
  3. Learners will confront the tension in leaving one’s “home” to live in one’s “homeland”
  4. Learners will consider how the themes of home and homeland are expressed in the
  5. poetry of Lea Goldberg and music of Achinoam Nini
  6. Learners will consider how Israel may function as a “home away from home” and the implications of this as a model of Zionism without living in Israel
  7. Learners will extend this idea by confronting how one may have positive and negative views and feelings about one’s home and homeland    
  8. Learners will consider how Jewish identity impacts views of home and homeland

 Part 1: Home quotes

  1. “Home quotes” are printed and spread throughout the room.  Learners are asked to explore the quotes and choose the quote that best expresses their feelings about “home”.

home quotes

Part 2: Discussion

  1. What is home for you?
    1. Ask kids to choose which quote best describes their feeling about their home
    2. Note the relative importance of “place” vs “people” in their descriptions.
    3. Can our ideas about home change?  Does it remain fixed our entire lives? 
    4. What, if any, are our obligations to our home? 
    5. Can a person have more than one home? 
    6. Discuss

Leah Goldberg


  1. Share brief bio
  2. Show Photo
  3. Read “Ilanot” in Hebrew/ English (In the source list)
  4. Discuss:
  • What is she saying?
  • What does it mean to have the “heartache of two homelands”?
  • Which quote about home might Goldberg have chosen?

 Pines (Ilanot) By Leah Goldberg

Pines (Ilanot) By Leah Goldberg

Translated by A.Z. Foreman (with edits mbv)

Here I will never hear the cuckoo's call.
Here trees will never wear the hood of snow.
Yet here in the pine's shade I can hear all
My childhood, brought to life from long ago.

The needles chiming: Once upon a time
"Home" was the word I gave to snow, not sand,
And the brook-fettering ice- a greenish rhyme 
In the language of song, in a foreign land.

Perhaps the migrating birds alone know
Their own route hanging between the earth and sky,
This is the pain of having two homelands.

In you I was transplanted, O my pine.
In you I branched into myself and grew
Where my roots are in two different landscapes.

אורנים / לאה גולדברג

כָּאן לֹא אֶשְׁמַע אֶת קוֹל הַקּוּקִיָּה.
כָּאן לֹא יַחְבֹּש הָעֵץ מִצְנֶפֶת שֶׁלֶג,
אֲבָל בְּצֵל הָאֳרָנִים הָאֵלֶּה
כָּל יַלְדוּתִי שֶׁקָמָה לִתְחִיָּה.

צִלְצוּל הַמְּחָטִים: הָיֹה הָיָה_ _ _
אֶקְרָא מוֹלֶדֶת לְמֶרְחַב הַשֶּׁלֶג,
לְקֶרַח יְרַקְרַק כּוֹבֵל הַפֶּלֶג,
לִלְשׁוֹן הַשִּׁיר בְּאֶרֶץ נָכְרִיָה.

אוּלַי רַק צִפֳּרֵי-מַסָּע יוֹדְעוֹת –
כְּשֶׁהֵן תְּלוּיוֹת בֵּין אֶרֶץ וְשָׁמַיִם –
אֶת זֶה הַכְּאֵב שֶׁל שְׁתֵּי הַמוֹלָדוֹת.

אִתְּכֶם אֲנִי נִשְׁתַלְתֵי פַּעֲמַיִם,
אִתְּכֶם אֲנִי צָמַחְתִּי, אֳרָנִים,
וְשָׁרָשַׁי בִּשְׁנֵי נוֹפִים שׁוֹנִים.

part 4- noa (Ahinoam nini)

  1. Share brief bio
  2. Show photo
  3. Listen to Ilanot:

Ilanot - Achinoam Nini and Leah Goldberg (subtitles)


  • What does Achinoam Nini do with this poem? 
  • Why do you think she might have related to this poem?
  • How is Noa’s take on “home” similar and different from Goldberg’s?

 Part 5: Goldberg and Noa

  1. What does it mean to be at home in two places?  Or is it not being at home in either? 
  2. For each, do they have a true “home”?  Does it matter?  Can a person have more than one home? 
  3. What are the implications of this? 

What are our obligations to our home?

Can we both feel “at home” and feel “foreign” at the same time?

What is the relationship between our “home” and our “identity”

 Part 6: Home and Israel

  1. How is this similar to how we might see the idea of Israel as a “homeland”?
  2. Is this a good thing?  Something we should encourage?  Are there any other examples of this – can you think of other peoples who have a “homeland” of a place they may have never been to?

 Part 7: Rak po (Hebrew for "Only here")

  1. Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikjiMbJIG8g
  2. What does it mean to feel frustrated and angry with your home? 
  3. Can you relate to this?  Are there aspects of the U.S. that make you angry? 
  4. What impact does this have on feelings of “home”?
  5. What about the connection with “homeland”? 

 Part 8: Other songs to include

  1. Ein li Eretz Aheret https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfjlhD2N-YU
  2. Berlin Berlin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_h7TR0RLBak
  3. So good you’ve come home (English lyrics attached in the sources list):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-oWGJZny5k 
  4. Brooklyn https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8eLqh_7-YU
  5. it Ain’t Europe here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCZDiTiCjdU
  6. For each song:
  • What is being expressed about “home” and “homeland”?
  • What does it mean to have mixed feelings; ambivalence about one’s homeland?  How is this similar and different from how we feel about our family?

Arik Einstein - “How Good that you’ve come home”

Arik Einstein - “How Good that you’ve come home”

How good that you came home
How good to see you again
Tell us, what's new, tell us
Tell us how it was
And why you didn't send a postcard?

How good that you came home
A little thin, but what does it matter
You had a good time, you did things
You saw some other colors

But how good it is that you're here
How good it is that you're already here
How it is good, good

How good that you came home
This house already says it all
It was hot for you, it was
It was cold for you
You're now much happier
Already much happier

So how good it is that you came home
As if you set out, set out just yesterday
Everything here remained the same thing
You're now much more mature
Yes more mature

But how good it is that you're here
How good it is that you're already here
How it is good, good

How good that you came home
Really, you thought of me
How good that you came
That you came home
How good that you came to me
Yes, that you came to me



אריק איינשטיין / כמה טוב שבאת הביתה


מילים: יענקל'ה רוטבליט

לחן: שלום חנוך



כמה טוב שבאת הביתה

כמה טוב לראות אותך שוב

ספר מה נשמע, ספר

ספר איך היה

ולמה לא שלחת גלויה?


כמה טוב שבאת הביתה

קצת רזה, אך מה זה חשוב

עשית חיים, עשית דברים

ראית קצת צבעים אחרים.


אך כמה שטוב אתה כאן

כמה שטוב אתה כבר כאן

כמה שזה טוב, טוב.


כמה טוב שבאת הביתה

בית זה אומר כבר הכל

היה לך חם, היה

היה לך קר

אתה עכשיו יותר מאושר

כבר יותר מאושר.


אז כמה טוב שבאת הביתה

כאילו שיצאת, יצאת רק אתמול

הכל פה נשאר אותו הדבר

אתה עכשיו יותר מבוגר

כן, יותר מבוגר.


אך כמה שטוב...


כמה טוב שבאת הביתה

באמת, חשבת עלי

כמה טוב שבאת

שבאת הביתה

כמה טוב שבאת אלי

כן, שבאת אלי.

 Part 9: Optional: Create some visual representation of “My homeland”

  1. Some medium of art – paper and markers?  Torn paper?  Playdough like stuff (model magic); coffee stirs; etc.
  2. Present and explain representation

What are the components of your “homeland”? 

How, if at all, do you consider Israel your “home” or “homeland”?  Why or why not?

Sikkum – Recap

  1. Do you think our ideas about “home” are an important part of our identity?  Why or why not?
  2. An important part of our Jewish identity? 
  3. What does it mean that the Jewish people have a “homeland”?  A “Jewish state”? 

Does this change what it means to be Jewish?   Is Judaism with a nation different from Judaism without a nation?

       4. Now what?  How does this play into my Jewish identity?  What do I do with this?  Why should I care about Israel as my homeland?  How is this conversation about home a factor in my Jewish id?