• Cultural Zionism in the Heller High Curriculum

    By David Alon Teacher: “Class, what’s the definition of Zionism?” Students, in unison: “Zionism is the aspiration of the Jewish people to build a Jewish democratic state in Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel)!” By now we have a good understanding that Zionism is the founding ideology of the State of Israel, but it’s time […]


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  • Learning by Experiencing: Crusaders and Mystical Tzfat

    By Evan Wertheim Classes in Heller High are truly unique. In one day of class, we conquer a 12th-century Crusader castle in the morning and move into the spiritual realms of Tzfat and Kabbalah of the 16th-century by the afternoon. We storm the 800-year-old Belvoir castle, discovering hidden passageways that soldiers would use to sneak […]


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  • Heller High Poland Pilgrimage: Tykocin

    By Mikayla Snead, 10th grade, Dallas Recently, I was on the journey of a lifetime traveling around Poland. Out of the many places we went to and traveled around, Tykocin stands out the most. My experience there was very special, and I know I’ll remember it for the rest of my life. Our first stop […]


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  • Déjà vu in the Old City: From Counselor to Student to Teacher

    By Heidi Masuri, Jewish History Teacher in Spring 2020 As we approached the Old City of Jerusalem the feelings came rushing back. The place radiates an unfathomable amount of energy. For me it was where I spent a lot of time as an Olah Chadasha (a new immigrant to Israel) more than 15 years ago. […]


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  • Visiting the Ein Kerem Neighborhood

    By Aurora Mercer, fall 2019 student Recently, our class traveled close to our home at Kibbutz Tzuba, visiting churches in Jeusalem’s Ein Kerem neighborhood. Before entering these churches, I didn’t expect what I learned, saw, or even heard would impact my Jewish identity. I had been to churches before, even during mass, and had always […]


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  • Herodian Mansions and Southern Wall Excavations

    By Lila Herzig, Fall 2019 student When learning about Jewish history in religious school, a majority of my education focused on the Torah and the Holocaust. All of that space between the two was only covered in my seventh-grade year. I knew two things: the Torah is stories, and the Holocaust is living-memory history. The […]


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  • Teaching the Biblical Period and Building a Foundation for Jewish Identity

    By David Alon, Jewish History teacher Most of us remember the bible stories we learned in Hebrew school and file them away in our memory, bringing them out once a year on a particular holiday to remind us why we are feasting or fasting.  We often learned the G-rated versions of the actual text, but […]


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  • How Lucky Am I to Experience Heller High!

    By Ellie Plisko, Fall 2018 student This D’var Torah was delivered at her synagogue’s Israel Family Shabbat Three years ago, if you had asked me what my life would look like now, my response would have been nowhere close to what my reality is. Even if you asked me four months ago, I couldn’t have […]


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  • Learning About King David in the City of David

    By Shay Orentlicher, fall 2019 participant from Indianapolis, IN No teenager likes getting up extra early, but at Heller High, it tends to be worth it. When we stumbled out of bed at 6:25 am, it wasn’t an early wakeup for no reason; it meant that we would be going on a tiyul, or a fieldtrip, […]


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