How so? They climbed through Hezekiah’s tunnels — constructed by King David in 701 BCE — splashing in the tunnels’ waters so they could understand how they were a lifeline to the besieged city of Jerusalem.
They reclaimed history — in the form of pottery, coins and other artifacts — as they sifted through rubble from a stairwell leading up to the Temple.
And they made history as the first class to travel to Israel in three years, bringing back a signature experience of our Middle School program.
What makes this trip so extraordinary? It follows three trimester-long courses on Israel’s history, one during each middle school year. Our students travel with 8th graders from similar day schools in Memphis and Virginia.
They visit important historical sites, solidifying years of learning. They engage in tikkun, packing meals for the food insecure. They interact with Israeli teens from our partner region in Yokneam Megiddo, and spend time with former shinshinim and classmates who have moved back to Israel. They experience the poignancy of an Israeli Yom Hazikaron (Israeli Memorial Day) juxtaposed with an exuberant Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day).
The two weeks they spend in Israel help them create connections that will impact their future as Jewish leaders. Through meals of falafel and hummus, hikes up Masada and into Ein Avdat, Torah services at the Kotel and interactions with Israeli peers, they develop a solid foundation.
They connect with each other and with every generation before them. They become leaders who can engage confidently in the challenging discussions about Israel that await them during their college years.
They revisit, reclaim, commemorate and make history. You can follow their journey here.