Monday, May 12, 2014

Proud to be a Kadima Student

Maccabee on behalf of his classmates:

I am so proud to be a Kadima student. Throughout my day with my friends I really figured out what a great and special group we are. Starting at the Knesset, when the docent heard all of our questions and answers, he asked if we were bored due to how many things we already knew. With every question, many of us had an answer. When we arrived at the Kotel, it was a place so familiar. I knew it so well due to my diligent learning at school. We had known this place for so long. At the tunnel tours  (Minharot Hakotel) our guide told us that we were an exceptional group and that our knowledge was beyond our years. That is what I call a Kadima student. Through the quality time I've spent with my grade, I've truly learned what a great group we are. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Dead Sea and Masada

Today's blog post is shared with us by 8th grader Michal:

Today was a hot, yet magnificient day . 
We started our day at 7:30 am. Everyone put on sunscreen and much excitement was in the air.  We boarded a bus from Tel Aviv and were headed to Masada and the Dead Sea - the lowest point on the earth.  We  spent time on  the bus sleeping and joking around and laughing. When we finally arrived to Masada I relized that we just left Tel Aviv,  a beautiful modern city with theaters, museums, coffee shops and restaurants just a short time ago, and now we had arrived to a desert, a dry land with one side the Dead Sea and the other side was the hill of Masada. It was such a transformation! We learned about the mountain's history and of the Roman rule of the area. Later  we went to the Dead Sea. Raz, Maccabee, Eden, Gabi and I went inside the water. Some of the people in our group put mud on their bodies but I got grossed out so I went in without mud! It was really fun to swim in the sea but the high salt content of the water made my skin sting! We all had such a great time. 

After leaving the Dead Sea and Masada, we rode camels!   After the camel ride we went to eat in Bedouin tents. It was very interesting but at the same time a weird experience when we ate with spoons and just our hands. After, we had delicious tea and coffee. Then we had a long and fun bus ride back to Tel Aviv. 

(To learn more about Masada National Park we urge you to visit is an ancient fortification in the Southern District of Israel situated on top of an isolated rock plateau on the eastern edge of the Judaean Desert, overlooking the Dead SeaHerod the Great built palaces for himself on the mountain and fortified Masada between 37 and 31 BCE.)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


8th Graders in Washington DC have had a full days of learning.   Students have visited:

  • The National Archives and have learned that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is an independent agency of the United States government charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records and with increasing public access to those documents, which comprise the National Archives. NARA is officially responsible for maintaining and publishing the legally authentic and authoritative copies of acts of Congresspresidential proclamations and executive orders, and federal regulations. The NARA also transmits votes of the Electoral College to Congress.

  • The National Museum of Natural History - Opened in 1910, the museum on the National Mall was one of the first Smithsonian buildings constructed exclusively to hold the national collections and research facilities.

  • The Korean War Veterans Memorial

  • The Vietnam Veterans Memorial - The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a national memorial in Washington, D.C. It honors U.S. service members of the U.S. armed forces who fought in the Vietnam War, service members who died in service in Vietnam/South East Asia, and those service members who were unaccounted for (Missing In Action) during the War.

  • The Lincoln Memorial - The Lincoln Memorial is an American national monument built to honor the 16th President of the United StatesAbraham Lincoln. It is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. across from the Washington Monument.

Students have also enjoyed treats such as "DC Cupcakes" and work outs before bed in the hotel gym. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

8th Graders Arrive Safely in Washington DC

Kadima is fortunate to have an 8th Grade group in Washington DC this week as well as in Israel.  Students departed yesterday and arrived safely.  After checking into their hotel, they had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe and then took a night tour of the illuminated monuments. This morning, they took their first metro ride from Crystal City to the Ford Museum. Please visit: FORD MUSEUM for additional information. They have more planned for the remainder of the day - be sure to check this blog for the latest updates.

Yom HaZikaron and the Palmach Museum

This blog post is written by Maccabee, a student delegate in Israel as part of Kadima's partnership program with the Ort Yad Singalovski school:

"This Memorial Day (Yom Hazikaron) is not familiar to me. I am an American, here with my grade, on the Israeli Memorial Day for their fallen soldiers and victims of terror. Although in the States I have lived through many of these days, none of them are like this. There are no barbecues, no sales, no celebrations. But there is one thing. Awareness. Awareness of someone's brother, someone's wife, someone's friend. Today at the Palmach Museum I was moved. At the beginning of the exhibition the videos were very light and fun but suddenly the content became very real very quickly. As a teenager, I know what it feels like to want to belong to something. To devote myself to a cause. This is exactly what these young brave soldiers did. They risked, and some lost, their lives do to their brave dedication to the State of Israel. There were a few moments where I was left speechless. I could not comprehend all of the emotions, feelings, and empathy I had towards these people. I am an American in Israel on Yom Hazikaron. And there is no place I'd rather be."

For information on  the Palmach Museum, we encourage you to visit: Palmach Museum.

The Palmach (Hebrewפלמ"ח, acronym for Plugot Maḥatz (Hebrew: פלוגות מחץ), lit. "strike forces") was the elite fighting force of the Haganah, the underground army of the Yishuv (Jewish community) during the period of the British Mandate for Palestine

The following reflections are shared with us by Lital:

I have finally experienced Yom Hazikaron in Israel. The Kadima delegation went to a ceremony at Rockah school. We have finally heard the actual siren that is played in the beginning of the ceremony for us to take a minute and commemorate all the fallen soldiers. When I heard the siren, chills were running down me and all I thought about was how thankful I am for those fallen soldiers that risked their lives for us. Kids started reading and singing songs. It was a very emotional night for me because I have never experienced such a big ceremony for Yom Hazikaron before. There was one song playing that just hit me and I started balling into tears. I looked around and everybody else was also crying because this night meant so much to all of us. Everyone took it very seriously and that's a big part of what made this night so special and emotional. Also, when we went in the morning to the Palmach Museum we saw several soldiers and it felt so good to see them and wave to them. I have always wanted to be in Israel during Yom Hazikaron and now that I'm finally here it feels so different and nice than in LA when we celebrate it.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Israel - Day 2

Today's blog post is written by 8th grade student, Gabi.  She shares the following with us:

Israel continued to amaze me on our second day of this adventure. It feels like a dream. We started off the day at our friend's school, huge with seven buildings like in the movies. We boarded a bus to the Independence Museum where we sat in the very room where David Ben-Gurion declared Israel a state. We learned a lot about that day, May 14, 1948. It felt like an honor to sit where someone so great once stood. 

Again, we boarded a bus to the Tel Nof air base. Here they took our phones ( for the sake of security) and showed us a real twin-tail plane including inside the cockpit. We learned about fighting gear, types of planes, and how long it takes to become an operational pilot for the Israeli Air Force. I finally got insight into what it takes to be able to serve this magnificent country, and it's not as easy as I imagined. 

We left the air base and went back to the school. After an imprompt "water fight", we begun my favorite part of today- an open bus tour of over Tel Aviv with blasting music and dancing. My friends and I had insane amounts of fun collecting high fives from strangers on the beach, dancing, and taking a lot of selfies and it's an experience I won't forget. 
Today taught me that you can't get used to the way Tel Aviv is like. It will continue to take your breath away even you've been there for years. 


Independence Museum


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Student Perspective: The Old City of Jaffa (Yaffo)

8th Grade delegate Eden shares about Yaffo:

Today was the first day of our Israel Adventure. We came together at the LAX airport, after almost two and a half hours of yelling our way through the Tuesday morning traffic. 

The flight to Israel was about 14 hours, (without any exaggeration). On the plane, sleep was at a minimum for most of us. Movies were watched and games were played. That's why it didn't feel real when I got up to see the sunset, and then less then an hour later, see it rise. we arrived to Ben Gurion Airport - I am in Israel. immediately I felt the warmth and homeliness that this country gently pushes onto you as you are walking through it's ancient, worn streets. 

Walking through Yaffo was really like walking through history and the past. Yaffo is the enchanting old, in the middle of the modernized new. The city is a piece of the country that is timeless, with stories going all the way back to the date of the Gods and Goddesses. I was mesmerized with the intricate jewelry and the stories and the music that was played for us. I was mesmerized, and still am. Yaffo was one of the most memorable places that could have started this trip, and I am positive I will seen the events of our time in the city replaying tonight in my dreams.