What happens when 211 students in grades 9-12 hop on a couple of El Al planes and take an 11-day trip to Israel? Deep bonding. Experiential learning. An unparalleled connection to the people and land of Israel.
It’s the #BermanMission2018.
Students at the Berman Hebrew Academy were privileged to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime trip as beneficiaries of the generosity of Denny and Debra Berman, who take the entire Upper School to Israel every four years. The trip serves as an extension of what students learn in the classroom and in other aspects of the educational programming at Berman, and brings to life the rich tapestry of the Jewish people’s past, present, and future.
No other school in the country runs a trip like this, which brings together multiple grades to experience multiple facets of Israel. Each day students chose from one of six active options, including basic training on an IDF base in the Golan; learning to write in Torah script from a sofer (scribe) in Tzfat; chesed projects with Israeli NGOs like Shalva and Leket; meeting with a member of the Knesset; ziplining in Gush Etzion; and rappelling off cliffs in the Negev.
“I’ve always known that the Jewish people was connected to the land of Israel, but this mission showed me why,” said Michael Chamdi, an 11th grader who felt right at home when he visited Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu with his group of 40 students. Trip organizers, led by Berman teacher Miriam Zaghi, put an emphasis on providing a variety of experiences that would speak to each child. “We know that this will be a defining experience in their lives,” she said. “Every student returns home feeling that they have experienced something truly magical with Berman.”