• A Journey Through Tykocin

    Written by: Brandon Schoenfeld 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). Take a left down the main road. As you begin to walk out of the […]


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  • History at Our Feet: Birthright and Burial Caves

    Written by: Aaron Fox 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. As I recognized this, I tried more and more to use the time I had to […]


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  • Interfaith Learning in Ein Rafa

    Written by: Isabel Hoffman 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. I briefly learned about Islam in my AP […]


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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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  • Women of the Wall

    Religious Freedom in Judaism

    It is written in the Tanakh that Jews are meant to spend the month of Adar in celebration. During Rosh Chodesh, the first day of the month, the Women of the Wall (a female-run Jewish organization fighting for the right to pray and read from the Torah at the Western Wall) celebrate by congregating at the Western Wall. They pray, sing, and dance to welcome the new month. It is believed by Orthodox Jews that it isn’t kosher to hear a woman sing. Because of this, the Women of the Wall are often called harassed and called names by those who disagree with their cause.


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  • The Sages of Lublin Yeshiva

    Poland Pilgrimage

    Our day began at the esteemed Sages of the Lublin Yeshiva. During its time (1930-1940), it was one of the most prestigious and competitive yeshivot in the world. Rabbi Meir Shapiro, the leader of the yeshiva, trained the elite to become knowledgeable and personable educators of Torah. The learning center was in Lublin because it was the center of Torah scholarship in Europe at the time.


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  • What Our Spring 2019 Parents Said

    Last week, the Spring 2019 semester of URJ Heller High returned from four incredible months in Israel. As our students returned to their homes across North America, we heard so many beautiful words of reflection from their parents. Below is a sampling of what the parents of Spring 2019 had to say. “Words are not […]


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  • Summer on the Road

    It’s that time of year again: grades are in, transcripts are done, and the classrooms at Kibbutz Tzuba are quiet. But the summer is still eventful and fully packed for our senior staff, some of whom will be working with our partner program, NFTY in Israel. In addition, Rabbi Loren Sykes (school principal) and David […]


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