The students in the 9th grade of Ulpanat Ahavat Yisrael in Beit Shemesh and the students in the 8th grade of the Torah Academy High School for Girls in Johannesburg continue to strengthen the connections between them and their schools. The connection was initially established through Sviva Israel when the students were in the 7th grade through the Eco Connection program which was implemented together with Beit Shemesh- Mateh Yehuda- Washington- South Africa Partnership2Gether of the Jewish Agency and the Israel Center in South Africa.
In the 7th grade the students learned about ecosystems, measured their ecological footprints, exchanged repurposed friendship bracelets and ran joint video conferences in honor of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Yerushalyim.
This year the students learned together about Judaism and the environment, prepared power point presentations about their schools. Created and exchanged prayers and havdallah besamim bags as well as participated in a T-shirt design contest.
This week they participated in a summary video conference of the Eco Connection program. The students in Israel and South Africa wore the T-shirts of the program with the winning design which incorporated the Israeli and South African Flags as well as the phrase “One People, One Heart”. The winner of the T-shirt contest in South Africa, Kayla Drutman, received a digital camera and a warm round of applause from the students in Israel and South Africa. The Students presented their school’s power points, exchanged their prayers for their partnered schools and sang a song that is both appropriate to the month of Kislev and the current situation in Israel “Yevanim Nikbetzu Alayie”.
At the end of the month the students in South Africa are going on vacation and in January they will be in 9th grade. Some of them will be in visiting Israel with their families and the students in Ahavat Yisrael hope they will come and visit them. Now the 11th grade students in Ahavat Yisrael are starting to prepare for their Mifgash with the 12th grade students of Torah Academy when they come to visit them in January.