Debating Matters Israel

The Academy of Ideas and our partners, the Anglo-Israel Association, offer Jewish, Arab and International schools in Israel the opportunity to participate in Debating Matters, a unique approach to competitive schools debating in English.

In 2016

On 13th April, Debating Matters Israel returned in partnership with the Anglo-Israel Association to expand our work involving 12 schools. Hosted at the National Library of Israel, Jerusalem, many more schools, judges and guests joined the competition in our audience.

Our full programme for the event can be found here.

Judged by professionals from a wide range of backgrounds and areas of expertise, students had the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of some of the big questions facing society and to debate them openly. With a strong culture of informal debate, and tradition of lively public discussion, Israel offers a great foundation for Debating Matters’ engaging, conversational format.

Photos from the exciting day of debate can be found here:

The 2015 Showcase

Invited by the UK’s Ambassador, Debating Matters developed Israel’s first free to enter, English speaking debating tournament for 16-18 year olds working with a range of partners including the Israeli Ministry of Education’s English Inspectorate, Kadima Mada, The Abraham Foundation, TeachFirst Israel, Tel Aviv University and media partners like Ha’aretz, The Jerusalem Post and TV channel, 5 sport.

“Finding a way to engage on serious ideas is something incredibly important .... debating gives you something very special. In Israel, debating has a particular place as arguing is the national sport here!”

Matthew Gould, former UK Ambassador to Israel

Following a reception at the UK Ambassador’s Residence in Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv in May 2016, 6 Israeli Schools and many more guests came together at Tel Aviv University’s Porter School of Environmental Studies Capsule Building for an in-depth day of debate.

Our full programme for the event can be found here.

A full report of the event can be found here.

As well as providing Israel’s first opportunity to use Debating Matters’ unique format, we also produced several Israel-specific debate Topic Guide resources in English for foreign language students to use for research covering: whether Animal Experimentation can ever be justified, if Megacities are bad for the Developing World, if Social Media is rejuvenating political protest and if Space Exploration  is a waste of time and money.

My students and I had an unforgettable experience. We have learnt a great deal and the students were truly ecstatic. They keep on talking about the event with starry eyes since this is something we have never done before and it was so much more than we expected. I seriously believe this project to be truly educating, building confidence and connecting people.”
Trixie Mass, Teacher, Ankori


To get involved in the competition as a competitor or as a guest at our upcoming events, please email Joel Cohen


Thursday 27 June:
Oxfordshire Championship at Oxford Union, in partnership with Magdalen College School and Oxford Festival of Arts

Friday 5 July:
North East Championship at Durham Sixth Form Centre


Find a list of all our previous championship events here.


Bernie Whelan, our DM coordinator, is raising money for Debating Matters. To stage one of our Championships for six to 12 teams costs £6,000. Find out more on Bernie’s Wonderful fundraising page.


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