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Several upperclassmen return from Israel

Alexander Muss High School provides opportunity to learn abroad

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Several upperclassmen return from Israel

Alexander Muss High School in Israel teacher Lisa Biton tell students a story on Mount Gilboa Dec. 4. Park students returned from Israel Jan. 22.

Alexander Muss High School in Israel teacher Lisa Biton tell students a story on Mount Gilboa Dec. 4. Park students returned from Israel Jan. 22.

Ruby Stillman

Alexander Muss High School in Israel teacher Lisa Biton tell students a story on Mount Gilboa Dec. 4. Park students returned from Israel Jan. 22.

Ruby Stillman

Ruby Stillman

Alexander Muss High School in Israel teacher Lisa Biton tell students a story on Mount Gilboa Dec. 4. Park students returned from Israel Jan. 22.

By Gabriel Kaplan, St. Louis Park High School

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After attending the two-month long Alexander Muss High School program in Israel, junior David Khabie said the students often traveled to historical sites across Israel, learning as they went.

“We went on trips to the Dead Sea and the Kotel — the Western Wall — and Masada. We went to all these places and when we went there, we learned there for a little bit and our teacher would teach the history about it,” Khabie said. “Then we would actually experience it. It was very meaningful and special because these are historic places in Israel, so it was really cool.”

Miriam Hope, another program attendee, said she enjoyed her time abroad, but the work was difficult at times.

“Overall, I would say the experience was hard and challenging, but worth it and fun,” Hope said. “There were even some kids on the program who weren’t Jewish, and I think they were so happy about it. I definitely would suggest (the program) to everybody.”

Senior Leila Raymond, another program attendee, said she most enjoyed a trip to the desert.

“One of my favorite tee’ools — otherwise known as field trips — we went on was when we visited a bedouin tent in the Negev — which is the desert. We went and slept in the bedouin tent and rode camels,” Raymond said. “It was a really fun experience.”

According to Hope, those on the program also kept up with their classes from home and took an additional course on Israeli history.

“We had our regular classes from home and that was just like regular math, science — my normal kind of homework,” Hope said. “We were also in an Israeli studies class and that was a really religious course, and we had a lot of homework.”

Khabie said he enjoyed the learning style at Muss as it was individual-oriented and therefore more effective.

“It was nice to have a lot smaller classes. We got through the work and learned things a lot quicker, and the teacher knew your pace and your style better, so that was really nice and helpful,” Khabie said.

Although the experience was relatively long, it didn’t truly simulate life in Israel, according to Raymond.

“I think the experience itself was a good amount of time, but it really didn’t uncover the full experience of living in Israel,” Raymond said. “You can’t really do that in two months.”

All things considered, Khabie said the program was very impactful on his life and after only a few weeks away, already misses it.

“It’s really a very good program, and it changed my life in many ways. I really loved it and wish I could be there right now,” Khabie said.

This story was originally published on The Echo on February 10, 2019.

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