Students will write a letter to a former refusenik or activist. This lesson is a culminating activity at the end of a unit, quarter, or semester. Students will have the opportunity to reflect and articulate on who inspired them personally, and ideals or actions they will incorporate into their own lives.
- Identify heroic character traits that they admire and traits that inspire trust and result in service to others
- Reflect on their relationship to an individual who has exhibited heroic characteristics in their lives.
Duration: One class session
Pen and paper. The teacher/facilitator may choose to supply the students with nice stationery to add to the exercise.
- Think of a person from the movement for Soviet Jewry that inspired you. You can do your own research, or read biographies of Refuseniks here.
Who did you chose? Is it a:
- refusenik that risked their life for freedom?
- student activist – living a comfortable life – that wanted to make sure that all people are free?
- community leader who created an organization that made a difference?
2. After you choose a person, think of a sentence or an aphorism* that would best express that person’s attitude toward the Refusenik movement.
3. Then, do the same thing for yourself in relation to the personality that you chose.
Examples of aphorisms:
- Love conquers all.
- Hard work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
- Life is a battle one cannot lose.
4. Now write that person a letter. Use the sentences above to help you express how the person inspires you and what you will personally take from his/her story.
If the person is alive, let students know that we can send the letter. But, if the person is not alive, save the letters as a reminder of how the important things one does are remembered.
After the activity, choose a few students to share their letters.