Posted on March 1, 2018 by Lisa Friedman
Our teens have had several terrific travel experiences over the past two months. In January, we launched a new overnight trip to New York City for our eighth and ninth graders. It was a tremendous success. We had fun and still learned so much. The itinerary included visits to the historic Central Synagogue for Shabbat, the 9/11 Museum and Memorial, Times Square, and Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. It was special to celebrate Shabbat together from start to finish, and the teens loved riding the subway!
In early February, 11th and 12th graders in our post-confirmation program made their way to Atlanta, Georgia. They spent time learning about Jewish history, the Civil Rights Movement, and the ways in which these intersect. Our itinerary included visits to The Temple (a historic Reform congregation in Atlanta with significant ties to social justice and the civil rights movement), the Center for Civil and Human Rights, and services at the Ebenezer Baptist Church. Another highlight was time spent involved in a community-service project with Open Hand Atlanta, an organization that seeks to eliminate disability and untimely death due to nutrition-sensitive chronic disease.
At the end of February, our 10th-grade confirmation class went to Washington, D.C. for the L’Taken Seminar for Social Justice with the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. L’Taken is an educational leadership program that exposes students to a variety of issues, such as economic justice, abortion, gun violence prevention, immigration, and other civil and human rights. In addition to learning sessions, Shabbat celebration, a visit to the United States Holocaust Museum, and free time to explore and socialize, the program culminated with a day on Capitol Hill in the offices of both senators and congressional representatives to lobby on issues of importance.
A common thread of all these immersive experiences is the opportunity to build lasting relationships with one another. For many, the greatest highlight of their trip is bonding with their peers.
Originally published in the March-April 2018 issue of the Shofar. For more issues of the Shofar, visit the Shofar archives.