• 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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  • Yom Hazikaron & Yom Haatzmaut

    The week of Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel’s Memorial Day and Independence Day, respectively, was an emotionally draining, yet spiritually invigorating experience. The drastic change from mourning lives lost to celebrating Israel’s existence created a unique and unparalleled atmosphere throughout the country. I am very grateful to have experienced it!


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  • A Journey Through Tykocin

    Welcome to Tykocin! This quaint little Polish town is only a two-hour drive from Warsaw. If you park at the old shul (synagogue) like we did, you are at the center of the old shtetl (town).


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  • History at Our Feet: Birthright and Burial Caves

    Have you ever taken the time to really think about where you are sitting? For me, this had been a challenge throughout the week, with the overwhelming number of new friends, teachers, classes, and experiences.


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  • Interfaith Learning in Ein Rafa

    Coming from the predominantly Jewish area of Bethesda, Maryland, I don’t have many opportunities to interact with Muslim folks at home. I had never been to a mosque in the United States, and only a handful of students at my school wear hijabs.


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  • Victorious on Masada

    The ascent up Masada was not an easy one. We began our journey in darkness, but when we finally reached the end of our trek, we stepped foot atop Masada to observe the gorgeous sunrise overlooking the Judean Desert and the Dead Sea.


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  • Grappling with Tough Questions in the Old City

    Today the Tanakh came alive for me; I realized that through science, we could prove that the ancient stories in the Tanakh sometimes reference real life places and people.


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  • Experiencing Purim in Tel Aviv

    On our bus ride to Tel Aviv, the excitement was tangible. All of us were all dressed in costumes and looking forward to the Purim experience in Israel. Since Israelis had already been wearing costumes the entire week leading up to the holiday, we knew that it was going to be a completely different experience than any Purim from back home.


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