Hillel, Israel, and Ten Years Later

kotelIn the winter of 2005, just one year after the end of the second Intifada, I announced that Hillel would be instituting an eighth grade class trip to Israel, beginning in 2006. My letter announcing the trip read, in part:

“A central component of our curriculum is to foster a love for and to identify with the State of Israel. A love for Israel, its history, people, culture, Biblical connections, and Hebrew as its living language, all speak to a core aspect of what it means to be a Jew.  In one way or another, just about every subject taught at Hillel in Judaic studies, finds a connection to Israel.

We, at Hillel, cannot imagine a stronger culmination of our students’ studies nor a better way to encourage them to remain connected in some way to Israel and the organized Jewish community. Based on recent research, the Israel experience has a significant and often profound immediate impact on most of the group participants. It helps to promote reflection on who they are as Jews, strengthening their ties to Israel and Judaism, helping them to bond with their peer community, and teaching them much about Israel and Jewish history. Much of what they have learned at Hillel will come alive in Israel.”

While many parents were thrilled that Hillel was finally joining the dozens of other day schools already sending their eighth graders to Israel, the announcement also triggered significant resistance. In the first few years of the trip, I had to reach out to eighth grade families and encourage participation. I would keep a list of the definite yeses and nos, along with the list of maybes.  It took time and patience to convince the majority of families to send their children.

This past Monday, the tenth eighth grade class left for two wonderful weeks in Israel. Ten years later, the trip is a part of the fabric of Hillel Day School. Many people have no memory of those early years. I don’t remember when I stopped making my lists, but I do know that today it is just understood that everyone is going. Occasionally there is an exception, and always for a valid reason – not out of fear or philosophical opposition!

Ten years later, when I run into Hillel graduates, I always hear about the eighth grade trip to Israel and how it was the highlight of their Hillel experience.  Some of these alums are now college graduates and they still tell me that the eighth grade trip was their favorite trip to Israel, even if they have gone again since that time! There is something uniquely magical and powerful about going to Israel with friends you have spent up to nine years with, learning, growing, and experiencing life together. The realization that their time together at Hillel is coming to an end, along with being in Israel together to see and feel all that they have learned over the past years, combine to create a special, unforgettable experience that the students still cherish decades later.

As I reminisce, looking back at the early communications we sent parents, I realize much has changed in our world, but the reason for instituting the trip has not changed. Israel is and always will be our Jewish homeland, a land that must be experienced firsthand to understand fully the power of the land and its unbreakable connection to our history, our story, and our God.


547 Responses to Hillel, Israel, and Ten Years Later

  1. Pingback: world market url

  2. Pingback: buy excel herbal viagra

  3. Pingback: cialis 10mg

  4. Pingback: cheap generic cialis

  5. Pingback: viagra sale brisbane

  6. Pingback: buy discount generic cialis

  7. Pingback: buy cvv dumps verified seller

  8. Pingback: buy cialis online eu

  9. Pingback: real viagra for sale

  10. Pingback: erectile dysfunction pills

  11. Pingback: cheap-generic-viagra.com

  12. Pingback: cialis color of pills

  13. Pingback: buy weed online

  14. Pingback: cheap cialis viagra online

  15. Pingback: paying social media jobs

  16. Pingback: สล็อตเว็บตรง

  17. Pingback: nova88

  18. Pingback: best online casino for usa

  19. Pingback: dispensary security

  20. Pingback: kardinal stick

  21. Pingback: sildenafil 25 mg online

  22. Pingback: cialis cheap

  23. Pingback: cialis 5 mh.

  24. Pingback: viagra dosage 25 mg

  25. Pingback: meritking

  26. Pingback: elexusbet

  27. Pingback: eurocasino

  28. Pingback: madridbet

  29. Pingback: meritroyalbet

  30. Pingback: eurocasino

  31. Pingback: eurocasino

  32. Pingback: meritking

  33. Pingback: meritroyalbet

  34. Pingback: Trollhättan bilskrot

  35. Pingback: car dealership surveillance

  36. Pingback: cdl job

  37. Pingback: meritroyalbet

  38. Pingback: online blackjack in the us

  39. Pingback: viagra sales

  40. Pingback: can i cut cialis pills in half

  41. Pingback: cialis erection

  42. Pingback: where to get viagra pills

  43. Pingback: cialis 100 mg

  44. Pingback: order viagra in canada

  45. Pingback: cvs viagra

  46. Pingback: relx

  47. Pingback: คาสิโนออนไลน์เว็บตรง

  48. Pingback: man viagra tablet

  49. Pingback: perabet

  50. Pingback: price per pill sildenafil 20 mg

  51. Pingback: madridbet

  52. Pingback: ivermectin malaria

  53. Pingback: trcasino

  54. Pingback: elexusbet

  55. Pingback: combivent for asthma

  56. Pingback: ivermectin 3mg tab

  57. Pingback: cialis mg

  58. Pingback: generic prescription viagra

  59. Pingback: sildenafil over the counter

  60. Pingback: ivermectin 0.08

  61. Pingback: topical ivermectin for scabies

  62. Pingback: trcasino

  63. Pingback: ventolin inhaler without prescription

  64. Pingback: tombala siteleri

  65. Pingback: tombala siteleri

  66. Pingback: tombala siteleri

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *