When the sixth graders at Magen school in Tel Aviv lit candles for the first night of Chanukah last Wednesday evening at 7:00 pm, the light was so bright that it reached Los Angeles.
Why? Because as these children said the bracha and lit the shamash, students at Pressman Academy in Los Angeles (where it was 9:00 am) were doing exactly the same thing.
Courtesy of Skype, the classes twinned by the Federation's School Twinning program were able to celebrate together in real time.
In Tel Aviv, the students were gathered in the auditorium, surrounded by their parents and grandparents who sang together with the Pressman students as Rabbi Mitch Malkus led the prayers for the candle lighting. Ahuva Ron of the Federation's School Twinning program told the Los Angeles and Tel Aviv students "Each one of you is a small light. And together you light the globe."
During Chanukah, 10 delegations, including over 200 students from twinned schools in Tel Aviv are visiting in Los Angeles, to learn and to make a personal connection to students and families in Los Angeles - and, thus, ensure the Jewish future. Now that's our idea of a real Chanukah miracle!
School Twinning Program
ProgramThe Jewish Federation’s Tel Aviv/Los Angeles Partnership School Twinning Program is the only initiative in existence that connects schools in Los Angeles with schools in Tel Aviv. This powerful program has supported 60,000 students, parents, and faculty through jointly prepared curricula, teacher training, and delegation exchanges. Students from Tel Aviv come to Los Angeles; students from Los Angeles go to Tel Aviv.
Visiting students live with a host family and study history, literature, language, pluralistic Judaism, Zionism, and the sciences at their partner school. The cultural and educational exchange between students transforms school cultures, transcends the distance between Israel and L.A., and creates a shared Jewish identity and destiny.