San Diego Jewish Academy welcomed a ten person delegation from Sha’ar HaNegev — San Diego’s sister region in Southern Israel–to the school in mid-November. The delegation represented a wide range of the region’s community–the municipality CEO, and Directors of senior centers, a youth center, Sapir College, the welfare department, a hydrotherapy center, and the Director of Education.
As the delegation arrived on campus, they were greeted by students from Judaic Studies classes in the Lower School who waved Israeli flags and sang special songs. Students and division heads then guided the delegation through visits with SDJA’s early childhood center, lower school, high school, and the school’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Thinking.
They ended the visit with butterfly painting in the school’s garden and closing words about SDJA’s relationship to Israel by Rabbi David Frank, Chief Jewish Officer & Director of Advanced Institute for Judaic Studies, and Alex Wellman, President of SDJA’s Student Government.
The representatives spent one week in San Diego, touring and learning about their institutional partners as they were hosted by local families.
“It was incredibly meaningful for our students, faculty, and teachers to welcome the Sha’ar HaNegev delegation to campus,” adds Zvi Weiss, Head of School at SDJA. “We want our students to develop personal, meaningful relationships with Israelis. They took great pride in showing off their projects and performing for all of our guests. Thanks to the Jewish Federation’s Gesher program we are building relationships between administrators, educators and students that will encourage a deeper understanding of Israel on a more personal level to create long-lasting ties between our people.”