The HIP Trip is finally back!
Avi Halzel



By Avi Halzel, Head of School/CEO


The Hebrew Immersion Program (HIP) is a unique and powerful Israel program that Denver JDS 10th grade students typically participate in each winter. Now in its 15th year, HIP immerses Denver JDS students in not only Hebrew but also Israeli culture and people. HIP students spend time in the school’s sister city, Ramat HaNegev, with Israeli students who will also soon come visit them in Denver as part of an exchange.

Last year, the Denver JDS 10th graders did not get to travel to Israel on HIP because of COVID 19. Plans were underway this school year to bring 10th and 11th grade students to Israel in December 2021. The itinerary was taking shape and everyone was getting excited about going to Israel. Unfortunately, COVID 19 got in the way again. The trip was postponed due to new COVID variants, increasing cases, and complex guidelines. 

These two setbacks did not deter school leadership or DJDS 10th and 11th grade students. We were all determined to make HIP a reality. I am pleased to tell you that our 10th and 11th graders will be going to Israel on HIP on March 14th. HIP has finally returned!
HIP participants will spend four weeks in Israel deepening their Hebrew language skills, getting to know Israelis in Ramat Negev, and touring Israel.  Needless to say, the kids are incredibly excited about this unique and powerful program that they are about to finally experience. 
Our 10th and 11th graders will start their ulpan (Hebrew immersion) classes shortly after their arrival in Israel.  These classes take place both inside classrooms and in authentic outdoor settings. The ulpan classes are designed to take the Hebrew skills they have been developing all these years at Denver JDS and help them become more comfortable and fluent Hebrew speakers. 
Early in the trip, the group will head to Jerusalem to explore the sites of that glorious ancient city.  While in Jerusalem students will go to the Western Wall, tour the city of David, explore the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, and enjoy an evening on Ben Yehuda St. They will then head to northern Israel to visit the Kinneret, Tsfat and so much more. The trip alternates Hebrew ulpan learning and time with friends in Ramat Negev with travel all around Isreal. 

The experience will be one that ultimately was truly worth waiting for.