Each spring, the graduating 8th Grade class of Community Day School travels to Israel together as the capstone learning experience of their Hebrew and Jewish Studies curriculum. Helping CDS students to forge a strong connection to Israel in Middle School—at a crucial life stage when they are learning more about themselves every day and developing their identities—increases the chances they will maintain that relationship into the future. In this way, the trip does not signal the end of their day-school career, but rather the beginning of their lifetime commitment to their Jewish heritage, the State of Israel, and the Jewish community in Pittsburgh and worldwide.
You can follow the CDS graduating class in Israel on their blog at cdsisrael.com
The two-week, “hands-on” CDS Israel trip is designed to give the students a meaningful, intense, educational, emotional, and focused taste of their Jewish homeland. This past spring, 20 CDS graduates made the transformational journey, exploring the cities of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Tiberias, and Tzfat. They trekked through the Judean desert on camel-back and floated in the Dead Sea. They visited historical sites and museums, such as Mount Herzl National cemetery, Yad Vashem, Ammunition Hill, and Tzippori National Park. They ascended Masada at sunrise. They enjoyed experiences like chocolate-making in the Golan Heights and hiking in the Tel Dan Nature Reserve with teens from Pittsburgh's partnership region of Karmiel/Misgav. They engaged in social justice projects, packing grains for Israel's hungry. And much, much more, making memories and building connections to last a lifetime!