Twenty grade six students arrived in Israel for the Solomon Schechter tenth annual Israel trip and after only one day in the State of Israel, they have already made their mark and impressed our guides. Not only were they able to converse freely in Hebrew with students of Afik School (our sister school in Partnership 2000 in Be’er Sheva) but they also dazzled the guides with their knowledge of the bible as they readily responded to questions about the relationship between the Jewish People and Eretz Yisrael.
Solomon Schechter is one of three schools in the world that brings grade six students to Israel.
Chani Cohen planned the entire itinerary and educational program as she had done for the last several years and continues to offer students a good mix of educational and cultural content along with memorable fun events. Jonathan Kuczer looks after the finances and logistics in addition to playing football and basketball with the students. The hikes in the desert, the crawls in the Beit Guvrin Tunnels and the water tunnels make for an unforgettable event in the lives of our students.
Dr. Hamerman opened the trip with a moving talk on “Five Miracles and Velcro. He spoke to the Students of the Miracle of God’s choosing Abraham and Sarah with whom to create an alliance regarding the Land and the People. This alliance was passed on to Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob, Rachel and Leah. After the temple was destroyed and the Jewish People exiled by the Romans (c. 70) it took 1800 years for Herzl to convene the First Zionist Congress and begin the movement to bring back the Jewish People to Israel. This was called Zionist and it formed the second miracle. The third miracle was David Ben Gurion and the Declaration of Independence for the State of Israel in 1948. The fourth miracle was for the early Zionists to make the desert bloom and bring the fruition the prophecies of our classical prophets. Finally, the fifth miracle was for our students to come to Israel and develop the continuity and association with Land and the People as if to continue the covenant with Abraham.
Dr. Hamerman and Chen, our excellent guide, emphasized that our students are the “Velcro” that link, join and bind them to those miracles.
We are so proud of our students, their Judaic Studies teachers and Chani Cohen, the Director of our Judaic Studies Department. Our students are doing us proud as they walk in the footsteps of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob on this special year of Israel’s 70th Anniversary.