On Monday evening, December 30, Central bid farewell to 11 sophomores who are off for a month in Israel as part of the Central/Ulpanat Zvia Exchange Program. The exchange program, directed by Mrs. Tova Rosenberg, who escorted the students to Israel, pairs our students with those at Ulpanat Zvia, one of the finest High Schools in Israel, located in Ma’aleh Adumim.

Ulpanat Zvia’s educational philosophy, based on Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda HaCohen Kook zt”l, strives to inculcate the love for Torah, Israel, and community, and emphasizes developing the students’ inner spiritual life, character, and intellectual formation. Our students are fully integrated with their Israeli peers, both in the dormitories and in the classrooms. They study all of their limudei kodesh subjects with the Israeli students, and keep up with Central’s general studies curriculum on the side. They participate in all of the trips and activities at the Ulpana. Students typically return from the Ulpana, fascinated by their new inside view of Israeli society, and thrilled with the new friendships they have made.

The program only reaches its true completion, though, in March, when students from Ulpanat Zvia come to Central for a month for their turn as exchange students. This year, before our students left, they met with the juniors who attended Ulpana last year to hear about their experiences and get pumped up. We can’t wait to hear about their adventures when they return!