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Year One: 8th Grade - In the spring we have 4 – 5 Monthly interactive educational experiences, including 2 overnight programs. We form bonds through group-building activities, games, role-plays and more. The students learn about Israel and meet with a representative from the Israeli Consulate’s office.
Summer: Trip to Israel! Highlights include: Seeing the Mediterranean shores, visiting the Galilee, a trip to the Jordan river, ascending the Golan Heights, exploring the Negev, exploring the different climates of Israel in addition to the highlights above and more!
Year Two: 9th Grade - It’s a mini-reunion every time the kids meet after this magnificent, life-altering trip! Now the monthly educational experiences focus on leadership and Israel advocacy. The students learn presentation skills, intensive Hebrew and leadership skills.
This program is perfect for those kids who are not part of any other 8th grade group going to Israel. They and their families may be unaffiliated with any synagogue or day school and therefore not have the opportunity to join any other tours. These kids may have ceased their formal Jewish education after their B’nai Mitzvah or may be leaving day school and miss out on the opportunities there.
This program is heavily subsidized by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and Gratz Jewish Community High School. The entire two-year program is $2,500. This provides your child with an educational program for one and one-half years AND a ten-day trip to Israel. Passport to Israel money can be used for this program.
Research has shown that trips at this age lead to a higher degree of Jewish identification and desire for Jewish education in the high school and college years. The impact this program will make on your child’s Jewish identity will inform the decisions s/he makes throughout high school and college, including studying Hebrew, engaging in Jewish social activities, college choice and beyond.
The qualitative edge of this program is the fact that it is not just a trip. As highly experienced educators, we believe that a trip cannot stand alone. Establishing relationships and creating context is critical prior to going to Israel and processing is needed after the trip to properly build leadership skills.
No, we are especially interested in those kids who do not belong to a synagogue because we want you to have the opportunity to go to Israel too! Although we are non-denominational, there is one Shabbat experience in the program, right before our trip. We want you to be ready for
a Shabbat in Jerusalem!
While in Israel, the program coordinates with the authorized security services used by all trip providers. Our trip provider constantly monitors the security situation and anticipates issues that may affect the trip. An armed medic/escort accompanies the group at all times and no public transportation is used at any time. We do not approach or enter the West Bank or Gaza strip and we operate under the premise that if changes in the itinerary are necessary due to security reason, they are carried out without hesitation.
Ruth Schapira, Director of JCHS and Or Ben Ari will be the lead staff for the program and the trip. Ruth knows teens, has been an Assistant Camp Director, and has been bringing teen programming to life at JCHS for over a decade. Or’s background includes working specifically with this age group in a number of programs. As an Israeli, he is the perfect liaison and leader for this tour. His present work at JCHS and two area synagogue schools means that he knows our kids well and is eager to share Israel with them.
Fill out our application form on our web site here. The deadline for the application is March 10th, 2013. The i2i program committee will review the application for program suitability and get back to you about your application status. We expect that there will be many applicants, so make sure your application is great! Applicants may be required to have a personal interview.
Michael Blum would love to have a conversation with you.
He can be reached at:
215-635-7300 x 119