College Board allows leeway for trip to Israel

Chronicle Staff

Seniors who choose to participate in a two week trip to Poland and Israel will be allowed to miss their AP exams this May. The program, sponsored by the Bureau of Jewish Education of the Jewish Federation, is called March of the Living and was approved by the College Board in November.

The two-week trip coincides with the first week of the seniors’ AP exams but the College Board has allowed students who go to take advantage of the AP program’s late testing. The school agreed to give the students a venue to take their missed exams upon their return.

Harvard-Westlake is the first non-Jewish private high school in the Los Angeles area to accept the March of the Living program as an option for their Jewish students, program outreach coordinator Dalia Moghavem (Nuriel ’07 and Eli ’10) said.

The program was accepted with the help of Rabbi Emily Feigenson and Head of Upper School Harry Salamandra. Seniors will have the opportunity to march through Auschwitz, Poland, the site of the largest concentration camp during the Holocaust, and then fly to Israel to celebrate Israeli Independence Day the week after.

The march is in memory of the six million Jews who were forced to march to the gas chambers where they died in what was called the March of the Dead.  The march will be completed by 8,000 Jewish high school students in their March of the Living.

The trip will bring together Jewish teens from over 60 countries and regions around the world. All will march three kilometers from Auschwitz to Birkenau, another large concentration camp, on Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, with a memorial service at one of the gas chambers. The trip includes a tour of ancient sites in Israel, including Jerusalem, Masada, Tel Aviv, the Golan Heights, the Galilee and the Negev.

Students will be accompanied on the trip by a doctor, a social worker, educators, counselors and Holocaust survivors.