Resources for Teachers and Students on Leah Rabin

Prepare: After her husband's assassination in 1995, Leah Rabin took a lead role in campaigning for the Middle-East peace process that he had championed. She died of lung cancer five years later, and her obituary can be read on the BBC News website.

Read: Leah Rabin's short Architects of Peace essay is excerpted from a speech she gave at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. The full speech can be read at on the "Gifts of Speech" website at Sweet Briar College. (The "Gifts of Speech" program celebrates women's speeches from around the world.)

Explore: The Yitzhak Rabin Center for Israel Studies, located near Tel Aviv University, sponsors a number of educational projects to promote Rabin's vision of peace in the Middle East. The center's website also contains biographical material on Rabin's life, especially regarding his leadership within the Yishuv, the pre-state Jewish community in Palestine.

Write: Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated in the central square of Tel Aviv during a mass public rally around the theme, "Yes to Peace-No to Violence." The irony that such a violent act took place at a rally designed to curtail violence has led many to reflect on the extent of legitimate political protest. At what point does political dissent cease to be moral? Is violence ever justified as a means of political resistance? What are the differences in the effects of using violence or nonviolence to bring about social change? Write a three-to-five page reflection on the relationship between violence and social change.

Extend: Leah Rabin gave an interview to CNN the day after her husband was buried. During the interview, she urged her fellow Israelis to speak out for peace, and discussed her concerns with the atmosphere of "religious extremism" that she felt led to her husband's death. The interview can watched as a streaming video or read as a transcript.

Additional Resource: Yitzhak Rabin was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994, sharing the award not only with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, but also with Israili politician Shimon Peres. Information on the 1994 awards can be found on the Nobel site.

Biography of Leah Rabin