None of this is imaginary. It is possible and is already taking place.
One example of videoconferencing took place with Camp Young Judaea, Sprout Lake. The children at the camp so enjoyed their virtual tour that a follow-up program was devised whereby the children studied material that we sent to them in advance and led the tour of the Western Wall Tunnels themselves via videoconference. Imagine the excitement of their fellow campers and parents, who were able to participate in the broadcast from their home computers. The camp director, Helene Drobenare, described the virtual experience at the Western Wall as follows,
"…I’m not sure your camera could see that there was not a dry eye at the camp. The event was an historic moment in Jewish/Zionist education. It encompassed true interactive programming, engaging activities, wonderful educators and of course enormous emotion…The entire Sprout Lake community wants to thank you for giving us a rare opportunity to dream and have a dream turn into a reality.”
Dina Stembler from Dneprodzerjinsk, Ukraine wrote:
"This is the second time I've had the honor of being in touch with you and doing a videoconference between you and participants of seminars that took place in our town, Dneprodzerjinsk, in Ukraine.
I appreciate your lofty efforts, appreciate you for them and find it hard to express in words the impact of the holy activity you do on Jews who have for some time not encountered the inner significance of Judaism.
I was present twice at these situations that were full of majesty, in which the audience holds its breath and watches, alert, as its letters are tucked among the holy stones of the Western Wall on live broadcast.
I would like to share with you a few sentences said by one of the teachers who participated in the Roots seminar:
'… During the videoconference, the guide said: 'Now, as David stands next to the holiest place in the world, the Holy of Holies, you have the chance to recite a personal prayer from the depths of your hearts, wherever you're standing". There was complete silence in the hall. I am sure that during these moments, not one of the participants prayed for a laptop or a dream trip to Europe… Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!'
Miriam Arf a fifth grade teacher from 'Hatikva', Montreal wrote:
"In the fifth grade, the videoconference was integrated into the curriculum dealing with the flag of Israel and its significance in different times, from Herzl through the founding of the state and to today.
The encounter with you, especially sending prayers to the Wall as we kept track of "our" flag, made our learning experiential and added a personal layer in which each student felt that he was part of the Hebrew nation in the Land of Israel. The children talked about the experience later on in the classrooms, and it was clear to me that it would stay with them for many years to come.
I want to again thank those who worked on this. Well done! And I hope that the connection and cooperation between us will continue and that we will hear about more educational ideas in which we can have our students participate.
Based on the prayers and short compositions written by the children, you can see that they came with their souls prepared for this event.
The educational department in the Canada JNF wrote:
I am just writing- belatedly- to thank you on behalf of the Education Department here at the JNF of Canada. The recent videoconference that you organized was marvelous- educators, parents and students were so incredibly impressed, and some were even moved to tears.
Because of this successful event, one young student whose Bar Mitzvah is planned for next year, wants to visit Israel. As part of his family's celebrations, he wants to have an entire forest planted.
We are so happy with the hard work you put in on this event, and we hope that we can work together again in the future.
Once again, thank you for your amazing effort!