In Judaism, tombs are lessons and graves are meant to teach us about life. They are to be visited and reflected on. And that is exactly why parents and students traveled to Galil, the north of Israel, to visit an ancient Jewish necropolis from 200 CE, Beit She’Arim. This tiyul, or field trip, was aimed at continuing the classroom Jewish History study of Oral Law and the Mishnah that Evan and David had started with Heller High earlier in the week.
What hits you first is the noise. This is not a quiet classroom. This is not a lecture hall. No one sits back or fades away – there just isn’t a chance to. A Heller High Jewish History class is a kinetic, active, participatory space where students and teachers respond to each other with enthusiasm and equal power, taking individual responsibility for learning but also working together as a cohesive unit towards a common goal of study.