Israel has a lot of children. Out of approximately nine million people, 2.5 million are younger than 18. Tomorrow, July 1st, they will all begin a two-month summer break. While many teenagers work during the summer, many do not, and they and the rest of the children in Israel are idle most of the summer, looking for things to do with their time. This is very bad for them and for society. If I had a say about it, there would not be a break. The summer would be used to provide children with extras: fun sports, exciting science lessons, improving social connections, and understanding what it means to be Jewish, and, in particular, Israeli.
The last two items on the list—improving social connections and understanding what it means to be an Israeli—actually go together. Children should not be oblivious to the world they live in. They should know the purpose of their existence and their goal in life since childhood. This will give them orientation and prevent confusion, frustration, and depression.
Children need to understand the system that binds us all together. Specifically, Israeli children need to understand the role of the people of Israel, since as Israelis, they bear the responsibility to do what the world needs the State of Israel to do: exemplify unity.
This is also why it is important to teach children, especially Israeli children, how to nurture good social connections from a very early age. They need to know not only how to be friendly to others, but why disagreements between them occur, how to relate to them, and how to actively overcome conflicts between them.
In order to help Israeli children accept the responsibility they bear, they must be made to feel proud that they have been given such a worthy task, to be a model of unity for humanity. At the same time, they need to learn that the bonding between them is not for their own sake, but for the sake of humankind.
I am writing about the program I would propose because although Israeli children are “born into” the responsibility, as is proven by the fact that the world blames Israel for every problem in the world, the necessity to learn to get along applies to all of humanity.
When every country in the world is tied to every other country, it is essential that we all learn to improve our social ties and understand the purpose of our existence. Teaching children why the world exists, why their social relationships are so important to the survival of humanity, how to maintain and even improve good relationships will not only impact children, but will also have a positive impact on adult society.
Granted, summer break should not be all work and no play, but this program is vital for the children. It should include sports games, exciting science lessons, and they should also have free time. But by the end of summer, when the children return to school, they should be better, more educated individuals than when they left for the summer.
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