By Alex Leichenger and Sade Tavangarian
Twenty-one sophomores and juniors came to visit Los Angeles from the Herzliya Gymnesia School in Tel Aviv, the first institution founded for Hebrews before Israel became a Jewish state. They are visiting New Jewish Community High School in West Hills.
While in Los Angeles, they have toured landmark locations such as Hollywood Blvd., the Getty Center, Olvera Street and the Museum of Tolerance. They also visited Chaminade, whose student body is composed of 10 percent Jews.
At Harvard-Westlake, the students talked to a handful of faculty, that included Rabbi Emily Feigenson, played basketball and ate lunch in the quad before departing at noon.
The students were required to perform 60 hours of community service and show high proficiency in English to qualify for the trip, which spans from Nov. 23 to Dec. 7. Participants have been studying English in Israel for five to six years.
The teenagers said they traveled to America to become acclimated with a different culture and to witness Judaism in another part of the world.
“We came [to the United States] to socialize, to see the way of American teenagers, how they live and act, and at the end weâre all teenagers,” Yoav Hobart said. “We wanted to see the expression of Judaism and American life.”
The students stopped by Harvard-Westlake to see a school with more cultural diversity
Feigenson said there is a possibility of starting an exchange program with the school in the future.