Journey Blog Entries

List of 87 news stories.

  • Junior Journey: What Do We Want to Remember... and Why?

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz
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  • Sophomore Journey: Taking Off the Masks

    Sarrah W. '21
    The theme of this journey is to “take off our masks”, meaning, to show our true authentic selves. I feel that by the end of this journey, we have all gotten closer together as a grade and have made new or closer bonds with one another. 
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  • Junior Journey: The Beauty and Complexity of Jerusalem

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz
    Students debated the lively world of Israeli elections, and met with Elhanan Miller for a tour south of Jerusalem, before exploring the Old City and the Jewish Quarter.
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  • Sophomore Journey: The Sense of Accomplishment

    Sarrah W. '21
    Hiking, rock climbing, canyoneering...Sarrah W. '21 reports on the Sophomore Journey experience.
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  • Freshman Journey: More than just bonding

    From ropes courses to rock climbing, archery to horseback riding, the freshmen have been immersed in the wide variety of activities at Brandeis Bardin.
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  • Junior Journey: Finding the Heart of Israel

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz
    We began our day in Tel Aviv with a visit to Save A Child's Heart, an organization founded in 1995 by an American cardiac surgeon, Dr. Ami Cohen, who had moved to IsraeL
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  • Senior Journey: Down in the Bayou

    Sam A. '19
    By 5:30 AM, the Class of 2019 had arrived at SFO, ready for a long day of travel, off to a city many of us had never laid eyes on.
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  • Israel Journey: Hiking by the Jordan River

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz & Robin Gluck
    It feels like we've done so much and we've been in Israel for only two days!
     
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  • Junior Journey: Exploring the Triumphs and the Challenges

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz
    Walking between the raindrops, juniors on the journey visited Bialik-Rogozin school where they talked about diversity in Israel. Then they toured the high tech startup Fundbox and finished the day at the Palmach Museum.
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  • Sophomore Journey: From Vegas to the Canyon

    Sarrah W. '21
    The sophomores got off to an early start yesterday morning as we all descended to Las Vegas.
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  • Junior Journey: Shabbat in Tel Aviv

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz
    After an active and very demanding first five days in Israel the JCHS junior class welcomed in Shabbat on the roof of our hotel on Friday evening at dusk.
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  • Junior Journey: Friday in Tel Aviv

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz
    We divided the students up into five groups and asked them what they would do if they were creating a city from scratch, on a blank canvass.
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  • Junior Journey: Final Moments in the Holy Land

    Sam Arneson
    I danced with strangers, prayed with friends, and left feeling fulfilled.
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  • Junior Journey: Exploring Israel’s Epicenter

    Sam Arneson
    All in all, I think I speak for everyone when I say that these past few days have given the Class of 2019 a nuanced understanding of Jerusalem...
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  • Sophomore Journey: What A Journey!

    Danelle Tuchman
    Despite many first time jitters and fears of heights, we were able to use one another to persevere and to reach our goal!
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  • Junior Journey: A Visit to Yad v'Shem

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz
    Today was one of the heaviest days of our trip...
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  • Senior Journey: A Life Changing Journey

    Shayna Dollinger
    It was unbelievable! We didn’t want the show to the end...
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  • Freshmen Journey: A Journey to Remember

    Ariel Cohen
    We are on day 4 of the Freshman Journey and so far the students are having a blast!
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  • Junior Journey: Layers of History

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz
    Today we explored the layers and complexities of Jerusalem.
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  • Junior Journey: Tel Aviv to Jerusalem: A Transformative (And Fun) Journey

    Sam Arneson
    We can’t even believe this incredibly transformative journey...
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  • Senior Journey: Telling Stories

    Adam Eilath
    “Why do the stories of the individual matter to the history of an entire city.”
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  • Sophomore Journey: Exploring New Spaces

    Michael Mirelman
    We have done our best to take advantage of the beauty that this amazing national park has to offer.
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  • Freshmen Journey: Activities at BBI

    Sarrah Wilkes
    The freshman have gotten off to a great start here at BBI!
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  • Senior Journey: A Powerful First Day

    Shayna Dollinger
    Seniors had an incredibly powerful first day in New Orleans. An inspiring woman, Lisa, told us her story and how she started APEX. 

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  • Sophomore Journey: From City Lights to Open Skies

    Danelle Tuchman
    Upon leaving the bus, we were greeted with the smell of fresh air and the outdoors. We couldn’t wait to begin this adventure!
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  • Junior Journey: A Day in the Desert

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz
    Today was a day to explore the desert. The day was beautiful, a clear blue sky, temperature in the high 60's, and the desert still green and with wildflowers in bloom.
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  • Junior Journey: Shabbat and Sunday

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz
    We began Shabbat with a Kabbalat Shabbat for the entire group. It was a chance to share our thoughts and feelings about this past week.
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  • Junior Journey: Shabbat Shalom from Tel Aviv

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz
    After a busy and thought-provoking week traveling, Juniors on the Israel Journey returned to Tel Aviv to enjoy the gorgeous beach and begin a restful Shabbat. Freshman, sophomore and senior grade journeys begin this week. Follow them on our blog!
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  • Juices, Kohlrabi, Hikes & Minority Education: A Full First Few Days

    Sam A. '19
    Junior Sam A. reflects on the first few days in Israel: "After this long day, we as a collective definitely came away with a broader and more nuanced understanding of the conflict (or lack thereof) between Jews and Israel’s minority groups. I am confident I speak for everyone when I say such education certainly enhanced our experience and knowledge."
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  • Junior Journey: Exploring Diversity in Shfar'am

    Merav Rozenblum
    Ms. Rozenblum updates us from Israel: "We spent our last day in the North exploring some of Israel's minority groups. In the Arab Israeli town of Shfar'am we visited a mosque, an Episcopal church, and an old synagogue -- all within a short walk from each other."
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  • Junior Journey: Walking the Israel Trail

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz
    The Israel Trail runs the entire length of Israel, from Mt. Hermon in the North to Eilath in the South. One activity during this 70th anniversary year is that different mechinah programs commit to hiking different sections of the Israel Trail so that the entire trail is covered by all the different mechinot.
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  • Junior Journey: From Tel Aviv to the North

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz
    Juniors visited Tel Aviv's Independence Hall before boarding a bus headed to Kfar HaNassi, a kibbutz in Northern Israel. On the way, they learned about food justice while picking kohlrabi with Leket.
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  • Junior Journey: Greetings from Tel Aviv

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz
    Rabbi Kertesz sends a brief greeting from the Tel Aviv Airport.
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  • Junior Journey: The Juniors Have Landed

    Sam A. '19
    "After a long day of travel, we’ve finally landed at a youth hostel in Tel Aviv to spend the night. Our journey here was a long one, complete with a fourteen-hour plane ride, bus transportation, and so, so, so much security."

    Junior Sam A, editor of the school newspaper, The Oberserver, sends us a report from Tel Aviv.
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  • You never get bored..."

    Eli M. '19
    Junior Eli M. talks about returning to "Alice" and getting ready for the JCHS Drama trip to the UK. "We are still learning new things about our play every rehearsal..."
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  • Junior Journey: Reflecting on Heroism and Sacrifice

    Shayna D., Class of 2018
    "Today was the most inspiring, impactful, upsetting, depressing, hopeful, scary, touching day of the Israel Journey." Shayna D. shares powerful moments at Yad Vashem and Har Herzl.
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  • Junior Journey: Visiting Yad Vashem

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz, Co-Dean of Students
    The Juniors spent their day at Yad Vashem and Har Herzl, prompting many serious and powerful conversations.
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  • Junior Journey: Jerusalem

    Shayna D., Class of 2018
    Shayna D. talks about encountering history and the complex geopolitics of Jerusalem on the JCHS Junior Journey to Israel.
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  • Junior Journey: The City of David

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz, Co-Dean of Students
    In Jerusalem, the Juniors on the 11th Grade Journey learned about the history of the city and considered the impact of gegraphy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
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  • Junior Journey: Ascending Masada

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz, Co-Dean of Students
    Juniors made the ascent up Masada on the Junior Journey. Rabbi Kertesz reports on a day of discoveries.
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  • Junior Journey: Finding Destiny at Masada

    Shayna D., Class of 2018
    "The Jewish people have survived for so long as a people because we control our own destiny."
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  • Junior Journey: A Day of Conflicts and Paradoxes

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz, Co-Dean of Students
    On the Juniors' last day in Tel Aviv, they spent met with refugees from Darfur and explored the issue of non-Jews who come to the State of Israel.
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  • Junior Journey: Struggles and Beauty in the Land of Israel

    Shayna D., Class of 2018
    "I really struggled with the idea that Israel's status as a Jewish state should mean that the country emulates Jewish values such as welcoming the stranger and seeing everyone in the image of G-d."
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  • Students met up with Lior Peretz '16, who is now serving in the IDF

    Junior Journey: Experiencing the Heart of Tel Aviv's Culture

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz, Co-Dean of Students
    Tel Aviv is Israel's center of art and culture and on the Junior Journey, students are experiencing not only the richness of poetry, music, and nightlife, but also the excitement of Purim.
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  • Junior Journey: Purim in Tel Aviv

    Shayna D., Class of 2018
    "During the Purim parade I really felt what it was like to be a part of a Jewish country..."
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  • Junior Journey: Shavua Tov

    Shayna D., Class of 2018
    On Shabbat in Tel Aviv, juniors on the Israel Journey met with the Palestinian founder of a Jewish-Arab dialogue project, sparking conversations about paths to peace. After havdalah, they welcomed Purim with a megillah reading.
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  • Junior Journey: Powerful Moments in Tel Aviv

    Shayna D., Class of 2018
    Newly arrived in Tel Aviv, the Juniors on the Israel Journey met up with alum Leeor Israeli '16, who is now serving in the IDF, and sang the Hatikvah in Independence Hall.
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  • Freshman Journey: Making Machaneh at BBI

    Freshmen had a full day of activities and exploring at BBI as they continued to focus on creating their own community.
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  • At the Basilica of the Annunciation

    Junior Journey: Finding Religious Pluralism in Nazareth and Mount Carmel

    Shayna D., Class of 2018
    From Nazareth's Basilica of the Annunciation to a Druze village on Mt. Carmel, juniors are having experiences that can't be duplicated in a classroom.
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  • Sophomore Journey: Facing Our Fears

    Dr. Julie Draskoczy, Humanities Chair
    "We cheered each other on and encouraged each other to keep going, to climb higher. ...fear was transformed into fearlessness as bodies disappeared up the side of the wall, so high they were almost out of view..."
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  • Sophomore Journey: Wolves on the Rocks

    Sam A., Class of 2019
    Usually, when you’re on a cliff, the scariest moment is when you look down. But today, the most frightening moment was when we looked UP, seeing the gargantuan walls we were expected to scale. Granted, we were not forced to climb, but most of us wanted to say ‘yes’ to the experience!
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  • Freshman Journey: Climbing to New Heights

    On the Freshman Journey, students are working on trust building exercises.
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  • Junior Journey: Along the Banks of the Jordan

    Shayna D., Class of 2018
    On the second day of the Junior Journey to Israel, students spent the day meeting new people on kibbutzim, and hiking the banks of the Jordan River. Shayna D. '18 has more in her blog post.
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  • Juniors hiked along the Jordan River from the Cork Bridge to the B'not Ya'akov bridge

    Junior Journey: Getting to Know Israelis

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz, Co-Dean of Students
    We began our day with a great breakfast at our guest house at Kibbutz Gonen. Because of jet lag everyone was up early. We began our day with different tefillot options and then broke up into small groups, to reflect on some of our experiences over the last 36 hours and give our students a chance to look at much they have done is such a short amount of time.
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  • Meeting

    Senior Journey: The Bearers of Culture

    Dr. Jonathan Ayres, English Teacher
    Seniors met with and interviewed the "bearers of culture" at the Ashé Cultural Arts Center during the 12th Grade Journey to New Orleans.
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  • Sophomore boys canyoneering in Zion National Park

    Sophomore Journey: Taking on the Canyons Together

    Sam A., Class of 2019
    On the Sophomore Journey, the guys cheered each other on as they faced the challenges of canyoneering in Zion. Sam A. send us an inspiring update from Utah.
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  • On the Angel’s Landing hike

    Sophomore Journey: Uncovering Zion

    Dr. Julie Draskoczy, Humanities Chair
    One of my favorite moments of the day came when Wolk gave us the opportunity to listen to music for the last stretch of our descent. As I blasted “Take Me to Church” through Ms. Rubin’s headphones, I thought about the sacred temple of nature in which we found ourselves, a place so fittingly named Zion.
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  • Junior Journey: A Window on Israel from Kibbutz Gonen

    Shayna D., Class of 2018
    Most of us got a nice Israeli wake up at 3am courtesy of our Kibbutz Peacocks. Others woke up at 6am with the blowing of the Shofar to wake up the rest of Kibbutz Gonen. After a yummy Israeli breakfast from 8:30 to 9:00, we boarded the bus and headed to a beautiful outlook in the Golan heights.
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  • The north of Israel is in bloom.

    Junior Journey: Learning about Israel's North

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz, Dean of Students
    The north of Israel is indescribably beautiful right now. After the winter rains the landscape is carpeted in rich greens, the wadis are running with water and the wildflowers are in bloom.
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  • At the Lafayette Cemetery

    Senior Journey: From NOLA's Garden District to Baton Rouge Youth Coalition

    Dr. Cecily Burrill, Science Teacher
    We spent the morning wandering Lafayette Cemetery, the Garden District, and Magazine Street, and the rain held off long enough for us to enjoy our lunch and early afternoon in Audubon Park, seeing a lot of birds especially the black-bellied whistling ducks (identified for us by an intrepid student ornithologist).
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  • Dr. Draskoczy and Ms. Rubin pose for #UtahChavrutah in Las Vegas

    Sophomore Journey: From Strip to Slot

    Dr. Julie Draskoczy, Humanities Dept. Chair
    The first day of our journeying was framed by otherworldly beauty of two very different types: we began our day in the “hyperreal,” disorienting surroundings of the Las Vegas strip and ended it with a truly magical night hike in Zion National Park.
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  • The Class of 2019 at Observation Point

    Sophomore Journey: Hiking the Canyons to the Stars

    Sam A., Class of 2019
    We awaken from our slumber to the rapping noise of our teachers banging on our doors. We were wishing we could sleep for just another hour, but alas, it’s time for breakfast! After some yummy food, yoga with Mr. G, and lots and lots of layering of clothes, we boarded the bus to go to one of the many canyons in Zion for a hiking trip!
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  • Freshmen at BBI

    Freshman Journey: Getting to BBI and Getting Active

    Aron Wolgel, Co-Dean of Jewish & Student Life
    As we left JCHS, guided by the words of tefillat haderech (the Traveler's Prayer), students enjoyed an energetic bus ride which contained a full bus sing-along and a seated dance party!
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  • Seniors at Congregation Anshe Sfard

    Senior Journey: Serving the 9th Ward

    Jonathan Ayres, English Teacher
    Seniors volunteered in New Orleans with community groups revitalizing the Lower 9th Ward, including Make It Right, Lower 9 Resilient, The Backyard Gardeners Network, and Our School at Blair Grocery.
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  • Sophomores in Las Vegas working on the #UtahChavrutah Project

    Sophomore Journey: From Prada to Nada At Zion National Park

    Sam A. Class of 2019
    BEEP BEEP BEEP goes my alarm, lurching me out of my slumber. I reluctantly get out of bed and throw my suitcase in the car, and begin the long drive to the airport. I can’t believe the sun hasn’t even risen yet! Fast forward 45 minutes, and I’m at the airport- with the 5 other members of my class who got there on time.
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  • Senior Journey: Keeping fit at the airport

    Mr. Grinner caught the seniors staying in shape while waiting for the plane in Dallas on the way to NOLA.
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  • Sophomore Journey: #UtahChavrutah

    The 10th grade has landed and taken Las Vegas by storm.  Check out the latest photos posted for the #UtahChavrutah Project.
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  • Sophomore Journey: Last Day in the Wilderness

    Michael Fitch, Math & Science Teacher
    After another late start, which we needed in order to rest our bodies, we began the morning routine of breakfast burekas (pastries), packing our pastrami or egg salad sandwiches, and then morning tefillah. We were all getting used to setting up well for our adventures, but at the same time noticing this was going to be our last wilderness experience on this trip.
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  • Freshman Journey: Biking, Cooking, and Picking Fruit at BBI

    Rachel Buonaiuto, Admissions Associate
    Yesterday morning, students were given the opportunity to choose two elective activities to participate in. They chose from mountain biking, art, cooking, archery, and climbing the alpine tower. It was a particularly hot day but the students handled the heat beautifully!
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  • Freshman Journey: Exploring Identity in LA

    Rachel Buonaiuto, Admissions Associate
    We set out for LA early this morning. We began our day at the Los Angeles LGBTQ center. The Center's staff facilitated a fabulous workshop for our students exploring gender roles in our society. They also helped our students understand the differences between biological sex, gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation. We were impressed with the students' openness to have these conversations and the maturity they displayed at the Center.
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  • Junior Journey: Thinking about Heroism and Sacrifice

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz, Jewish Studies Teacher and co-Dean of Students
    Today was a serious day. We visited Yad v'Shem, Israel's Holocaust memorial and research center, and Har Herzl, Israel's national military cemetery.
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  • Senior Journey: Learning from the Bearers of Culture

    After spending time in the morning preparing for oral history interviews, Seniors visited the Ashe Cultural Center in the heart of Central City, New Orleans. They enjoyed meeting some of the talented locals and took part in a drum circle and conducted oral history interviews with "culture-bearers."
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  • Sophomore Journey: Finding Yourself in the Canyon

    Shayna Dollinger, Class of 2018
    What an incredible day!
    None of us could believe that it was our last full day in Zion. It seems like we just gathered at Oakland airport to board the plane to Vegas.
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  • Junior Journey: In the City of David

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz, Jewish Studies Teacher and co-Dean of Students
    We spent today exploring Jerusalem, beginning at the excavations of Ir David, or King David's City, just south of the Old City. This is the site of an ancient Jebusite city that David captured and made the capital of his united kingdom. We learned the history of Jerusalem from David's conquest of the city about 3,000 years ago to the present day.
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  • Junior Journey: Masada and Ein Gedi

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz, Jewish Studies Teacher and co-Dean of Students
    Our group climbed Masada from the west side up the Roman ramp. At the top, we toured much of the site and learned the story of the Zealots who captured the city and held out for months against the Roman siege before committing mass suicide rather than surrendering. We ended our time on Masada with a discussion of how the early Zionists used the story of Masada to instill patriotism and a fighting spirit into the hearts of the Zionist youth.
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  • Senior Journey: The Rich Music and Culture of New Orleans

    On their second full day in NOLA, Seniors explored the city and its rich culture of art and music.
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  • Sophomore Journey: Canyoneering and Rock Climbing

    By Michael Fitch, Math and Science Teacher
    Shalom!
    After a much needed late start (9 am wake up) we grabbed some breakfast before heading to our morning tefillah. After our prayers or mindfulness activity for the day, we hopped on the buses and rolled out to Zion Mountain School at 11 am.
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  • Sophomore Journey: The Climb

    Shayna Dollinger, Class of 2018
    Wow. Wow. Wow. What a day.

    We were all pleasantly surprised by a nice 9 am wake up. It was great to be able to sleep in after our exhausting but incredible day yesterday.
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  • Freshman Journey: Trusting Each Other

    Rachel Buonaiuto
    It was great to see the students working together in the trust fall exercises and cheering one another up the alpine tower.
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  • Senior Journey: Helping bring light to NOLA

    On Monday, the group toured the Lower 9th Ward to learn more about the region's rebuilding efforts ten years after Hurricane Katrina. Students weren't just there as tourists though. With a focus on engagement through service, the seniors undertook a special project.
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  • Sophomore Journey: Appreciating the Incredible World

    Shayna Dollinger, Class of 2018
    Waking up, we could not believe that it was only day 2 of our incredible journey.
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  • Sophomore Journey: Peaceful and Exhilarating

    By Michael Fitch, Math & Science Teacher
    Shalom!  After our late night hike, the 8 am wake up came all too soon, but after a few bites of breakfast we were charged up and ready for more adventure!
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  • Freshman Journey: Building Ourselves into Community

    Rachel Buonaiuto
    On Sunday, the Class of 2019 embarked on their five-day journey to Southern California. After a long bus ride, we arrived at Brandeis Bardin at around 4 p.m.
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  • Junior Journey: A Day Exploring Challenges

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz, Jewish Studies Teacher and co-Dean of Students
    Often Israel assumes mythic proportion, a dream come true, and we don't see Israel for what it is: a real country with real problems. What makes Israel special is that in Israel these problems are Jewish problems, questions of Jewish values and Jewish morality. Today we explored these problems in Tel Aviv.
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  • Junior Journey: Hiking the Negev Desert

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz, Jewish Studies Teacher and co-Dean of Students
    This morning we left Tel Aviv and headed south to the Negev desert. The Negev makes up almost one half of Israel's territory and much of it is empty. We came to the desert today to learn about this beautiful and rugged part of Israel. To walk the land some more and to learn about the people who live here.
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  • Sophomore Journey: A perfect start

    Michael Fitch, Math & Science Teacher
    It's 6 am and all is still quiet at the airport.  By 6:20 a.m. we have taken over the Southwest ticket area with our bags, hugs, and excitement for the journey.  We passed out the tickets, made it through security, boarded the plane, landed in Vegas, and made it to the Paris hotel by 11 am local time with no problems!
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  • Sophomore Journey: From SF to Paris to the Stars

    Shayna Dollinger, Class of 2018
    It's 5:30 am; The sun isn't even up yet. I put my suitcase in the car and head off to the airport. Greeted by the Class of 2018, emotions immediately change from tired and nervous to excited and, well, still tired.
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Phone: 415.345.9777
The Jewish Community High School of the Bay (JCHS) is a unique college preparatory high school committed to integrating deep learning, universal wisdom, and Jewish values. We empower each student to embrace her or his Jewish identity, generate empathy and compassion, delight in lifelong education, and improve the world.