Reporting from Israel — There was not a dull moment in Israel for the 50 Tiferet fellows during the first week of our four-month journey. Jet lagged and full of mixed emotions, we traveled to Jerusalem twice, traversed two mountains, traveled through a narrow cave, and swam in a natural water spring.
Despite the jam-packed schedule, we have been attending our regular classes and writing plenty of essays. While the curriculum in our classes is modeled exactly to what we would be learning at Milken, we have one additional, fascinating class in our schedule called Core.
Core class consists of learning the entire Jewish history chronologically from the days of Abraham until today. It has been unique in the sense that this particular class travels with us wherever we go.
This first week we discussed the stories of Abraham, the Judges period, and the first kings of Israel. It was only fitting that we traveled to Mount Gilboah on Wednesday, pulled out our notes, and engaged in a history lesson while looking at the very setting of the biblical stories of the Judges period.
The following day we climbed Sataf, upon which we entered a small cave and learned about the ancient irrigation systems in the Judean mountains. Later, we traveled to the City of David (Bethlehem) to see where King David’s palace once stood. Before we entered the Hezekiah’s Tunnel in the ancient city, we sat atop a lookout from which we had a clear view of the city, just as King David had thousands of years ago.
This style of learning has intermixed fun tiyulim (trips) into the curriculum so that the learning experience is thoroughly tangible. It has been a class that has already started to put our Jewish history into clearer perspective. While we have learned many of these biblical stories in past Jewish studies courses, learning them in the order that they occurred historically, and traveling to the physical locations where the events unfolded, paints a much clearer picture of Jewish history.