ASAF RAMON Lesson Plans Written by Ahuva Dotan Lesson 1 Set Induction: Present photos of Ramon family (See power point presentation attached). Discuss the photos. Tell students about Ilan Ramon, the Columbia Shuttle tragedy, commemoration of Ilan Ramon. You may use the following links: http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/shuttle/overview.php http://www.guardian.co.uk/gall/0,,888237,00.html http://www.science.co.il/Ilan-Ramon/Biography.asp http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1114258.html http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/02/01/israel.reax/ http://www.jafi.org.il/education/100/people/iramon-act.html http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Ilan_Ramon Discussion: In his Eulogy to Asaf Ramon, President Peres said: '' … every heart breaks today because the son of the Ramon family was the son of us all - today we are all the Ramon family". What makes the whole nation unite mourning with the Ramon family? Israeli Ambassador in the U.S., Michael Oren compared the Ramon family to the Kennedy's yesterday. "The heroism and tragedies of the Ramon family are reminiscent of those of the Kennedy's'," he said. "The Ramon family, like the Kennedy's, demonstrated commitment to their state from birth, but all too often, this ends in tragedy." Who is the Kennedy family? Why does Michael Oren compare the Ramon family to the Kennedy's? What makes the Ramon family so special? Follow Up: Ask students to look for a news item, story, picture, song or any item related to the Ramon family and present in class. You may ask the students to write a letter of condolences to the Ramon family. Should Sons of Bereaved Families Become Combat soldiers? By Amos Harel Lesson 2 Set induction: The tragic death of Asaf Ramon raises again the question of combat service of the sons of bereaved families. By law, new recruits are exempt from combat service if they had lost an immediate relative. If they want to volunteer to serve in a combat unit they need their parents' approval and signature. Why, in your opinion, has this law been legislated? What is the moral dilemma in these cases? Should this law be changed? If an 18-year-old is old enough to serve as a combat soldier, why does he need his parents' signature? Read Amos Harel's article about the subject. What opinion does he present? Group Work: You are members of a committee appointed by the Defense Minister to discuss the question of the army service of sons of bereaved families. Discuss the different aspects of the issue. Write your conclusions in a report to be presented to the minister. Committee Members: Human Resources Branch representative A psychologist A lawyer, representing the Chief Military Advocacy A rabbi, representing the Chief Military Rabbinate A representative of "Yad Labanim", the organization of bereaved families Should Sons of Bereaved Families Become Combat Soldiers? By Amos Harel , Haaretz.com The tragic death of Capt. Asaf Ramon in an F-16 crash in the Hebron Hills Sunday probably touched the hearts of every Israeli citizen. The memory is still fresh of the fatal reentry of the space shuttle Columbia, which claimed the life of his father, Col. Ilan Ramon, and the rest of its crew of astronauts six and a half years ago. When he completed the flight training course in July, Asaf, like his father before him, topped his class. It was difficult not to be impressed and joyous at his achievements. It is therefore natural to describe the second disaster of the Ramon family as an Israeli tragedy. At the end of a period of mourning, Israeli society will have to seriously discuss the dilemma - which can no longer be ignored - of whether combat service by sons of bereaved families should be allowed. By law, new recruits are exempt from combat service if they had lost an immediate relative. In order to become a combat soldier the child requires the signed authorization of his mother. Obviously, the mother comes under an intense amount of pressure to allow her son to apply for combat duty. The courage, personality and flying skills that Asaf Ramon had exhibited are surely also hereditary: sons following in their father's footsteps. But the tragedy of the Ramon family is not the first of its kind. Several years ago, a young man died during flight training, years after his father had died in a helicopter crash. During the rescue attempt of Nachshon Waxman, Capt. Nir Poraz of the elite Sayeret Matkal unit was killed; Poraz was orphaned when his pilot father died years earlier. "This is something that is not for us to decide, but for Israeli society," justly commented a senior air force officer Sunday. The initial findings of the accident investigation do not appear to be pointing at a technical malfunction. The assessment at this stage is that the problem was most likely the result of human error. This was not a matter of "pushing the envelope" since Asaf Ramon was in the early stages of advanced fighter training. However, the speed and the turn that was performed in the exercise may have caused a physiological problem that led to the loss of control over the aircraft. There is no certainty that the circumstances of the crash will ever be completely clear. The aircraft fell from too high an altitude and it is unclear whether there will be sufficient physical evidence for the investigators to reach a definitive conclusion. This was the third fatal accident in the air force in just over a year. Compared to previous years, this is a slight statistical increase. But when compared to the 1980s, when the air force lost on average 20 aircraft and 15 crewmen, the numbers have dropped substantially and this is the result of tough regulations and security measures that have been adopted. "There is nothing like a sterile sortie, and there is no take off in an aircraft without risk," air force pilots said Sunday. "A fighter jet flies at enormous speeds. When a technical malfunction occurs, or human error, the amount of time you have to make a correction in the air is very small."