Approaching Conflicts
Contexts, Perspectives, and Values in Israel Education

Worksheet: Karet/Kashua Exchange

Toolkit Resource

This worksheet provides questions to guide learners through the Karet/Kashua exchange of letters. Ask your students to review them before they begin to read, and then take notes on their own reactions—surprise, humor, anger, etc. After reading, instruct students to write brief answers (3-4 sentences) to each of the questions.

  • What is the role of stories and narratives in the exchange?
  • How does language play a role in the identity of both writers? Do you feel different when you speak or write in a different language?
  • What role can writers and other artists play in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
  • What does America symbolize for these writers? Does it match your ideals of America?
  • What is the role of space?
  • For both writers, what is the role of family? Spouses? Children? Is there a difference between Keret and Kashua?
  • Describe the tone of these letters.  What is the role of humor and the absurd? Is it ok to be funny when talking about deadly conflict?
  • Immigration is considered a large part of the Jewish experience. How does Kashua relate to his own immigration?  Does it remind you of how your Jewish community talks about immigration, or other immigration stories you may know?
  • Why do you think Kashua chose America?
  • The letters are very personal, but also written for a public audience. What effect do you think that has on their content? Remember, they were also translated into English from Hebrew. Why do you think the New Yorker published these letters?
  • Is there still room for hope? Who do you find more convincing -- Keret or Kashua? Why?