Each spring, the graduating 8th Grade class of Community Day School travels to Israel together as the capstone learning experience of their Jewish day school education.
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.
I am a Community Day School lifer, and when I reflect on my time at CDS, I am flooded with happy and meaningful memories. My CDS education and the 8th Grade Israel trip made me comfortable in my Judaism and Jewish identity and gave me the confidence I needed to speak about Judaism and Israel to my non-Jewish peers at my non-Jewish high school. I am eternally grateful to my teachers and friends from CDS, and to this day, I continue to use the lessons and values CDS instilled in me.TALIA ROSEN, CDS Class of 2018 (alum of Young Judaea Year Course gap year program in Israel)
Trek through the Judaean desert on a camel, navigate the underground tunnels in Jerusalem, and float in the Dead Sea.
Visit historical sites and museums, such as Mount Herzl National cemetery, Yad Vashem, Ammunition Hill, and Tzippori National Park.
Make chocolate in the Golan Heights and hike in the Tel Dan Nature Reserve with teens from our Karmiel/Misgav Partnership region.
Give back through social justice projects, packing grains for Israel's hungry and harvesting potatoes in the fields outside Rehovot.