Central started 2023 with a happy return to a much-missed tradition: the Israel Ulpana Experience. In January, Central sent 12 of its students to Ulpanat Lachish in the south of Israel as part of its Ba’aretz program.

Last week, Central returned the favor with the arrival of two sophomores and two juniors from Ulpanat Lachish. “We are so excited to be hosting four students from Ulpanat Lachish and their amazing madrichah, Revaya, here at Central,” said Associate Principal Ms. Leah Moskovich. “They showed us such tremendous hospitality in Israel. We can’t wait to show them the same.”

Central students greeted the new arrivals with open arms and enthusiasm. After reuniting with their friends from Ba’aretz, the Ulpanat Lachish students will spend a whirlwind two weeks at Central. Their time here will be spent teaching Hebrew classes, guiding a program on Tu BiSh’vat, and guiding a program on Central’s theme of the month, Kevod Ha’makom, or “Respecting Our Spaces.” Ulpana students will also have the opportunity to sit in on a variety of Central classes – anything from Chemistry lab to Defining Moments in Tanach.

Activities outside school will include a full-day trip to Washington, DC, chesed trips, challah bakes, and movie nights – not to mention sightseeing and fun in New York City. Their time will also no doubt be spent bonding with their brand-new American friends.

“The girls are so sweet and warm,” said junior Simona Pitterman, whose family – along with the Schuck, Frankel, and Fish families – is hosting Ulpanat students. “You can feel how Israeli they are by the fact that, when I first met them, they gave me big hugs – and this was before I knew their names. I am so excited to see how our relationship builds over the next two weeks.”