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Jewish Planes: A Photo Lesson About Israel

El Al planes in front of hanger


To encourage students to examine emotionally and intellectually the existence of a Jewish national airline which displays the Star of David prominently.

Background Information:

Give students a copy of the above photo of a plane taken at an airport in Israel. Include age-appropriate background information from the list below.

  • The government of Israel has its own airline called El Al. It is owned, substantially, by the government of Israel.
  • For the most part El Al does not fly on the Sabbath, but this has been a source of great debate within the State of Israel. The airline suffers financially because it doesn't fly on Shabbat.
  • El Al only serves kosher food.
  • El Al is famous for its excellent security. However, security personnel use ethnic and religious profiling as part of their security methods.
  • El Al uses the flag of Israel, with the Star of David being central, as its symbol.
  • Once famous for its rude employees, El Al has significantly improved its customer service in recent years.

Questions for discussion:

Select age-appropriate questions from below or add some of your own.

  1. How do you FEEL when you see the photo?
  2. Is it a source of pride to you that the Israel has its own airline which uses a Jewish symbol as its logo?
  3. All other considerations being equal, would you go out of your way to fly El Al to Israel? Would you still choose El Al even if price were more and service less?
  4. Given that roughly 15 percent of the citizens of the state of Israel are not Jewish, do you see any problem with using the Jewish star as the symbol for the Israeli flag and/or El Al Israel airlines? How do you feel as a Jew when you go into a public place and see so many Christmas decorations? Is this a parallel question or not?
  5. Discuss El Al's policy of not flying on Shabbat and serving kosher food. Do you agree with these policies?
Type: Lesson Plan

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