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    Shalhevet 2020 (Bay Area Teen Journey to Poland and Israel)

    The 2020 Shalhevet trip has been postponed. The next trip will be held Spring 2021. 

    Shalhevet is a Bay Area tradition unique among Poland-Israel teen journeys as a small group experience that includes pre- and post-trip education.

    Jewish history in Eastern Europe, the founding of the State of Israel, the Holocaust and modern-day revitalization of Polish Jewry are just a few of the topics we cover. During the two-week trip to Poland and Israel the curriculum is brought to life.

    Led by expert staff, students visit concentration camps, remnants of the Jewish Ghetto and today's growing Jewish community. They spend time with Polish and Israeli peers and learn how they relate to their countries' past and their hopes for the future. They'll develop a deep connection to Israel and the Jewish people, with the tools to become their generation's Jewish leaders.

    Watch highlights from a recent Shalhevet trip here:

    About the Experience:

    Week One: Our journey begins in Poland with learning about the rich history of European Jews prior to the Shoah (Holocaust) and exploring the old Jewish Quarter of Krakow dating back to the 14th century. With a deeper appreciation for our proud past, we confront the destruction wrought by the Holocaust at Plaszow, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Majdanek and Treblinka. Along the way, we honor those who resisted genocide as part of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the Polish people who risked everything to save their Jewish neighbors. Finally, we conclude our European travels highlighting the renewed Jewish future in Poland. We look forward to meeting with Polish teens of all backgrounds along the way.

    Week Two: Departing Poland, we fly overnight to Israel where we land in the vibrant, sun-soaked Jewish State. In the Negev Desert we tap into our desert roots and celebrate Israel's enduring pioneering spirit. In Tel Aviv, we celebrate what it means to be a free people and discover all the cultural and technological riches in Israel's most dynamic city. Finally, we ascend to Jerusalem to retrace our ancient history, explore the policy challenges shaping Israel's future and celebrate Shabbat in the spiritual center of the Jewish world.

    For more information on the trip, please contact Tzachi Flat at [email protected].

    Scholarship Opportunities
    Need-based scholarships are available for Shalhevet participants. Please email Tzachi Flat for more information regarding scholarships. If you do not receive the scholarship award you are seeking, your program deposit will be fully refundable should you wish to withdraw.

    OFJCC Shalhevet trip to Israel and Poland

    To fully prepare for the Shalhevet experience, pre-trip educational seminars will be scheduled in the months leading up to departure.

    Shalhevet is a project of the Oshman Family JCC in collaboration with BBYO.

    Shalhevet is led by Tzachi Flat and Rabbi Batshir Torchio.

    • Tzachi Flat is the Oshman Family JCC's Shalhevet/Battle of the Bands Project Leader and has worked at the OFJCC as an educator for five years. Tzachi's goal is to create a diverse array of programs, designed to facilitate meaningful methods for teens to connect to one another and to other members of local communities. The programs are intended to guide teens towards developing strong identities and becoming positive role models who are confident, creative, patient and respectful towards each others' differences.
    • Rabbi Batshir Torchio has been teaching, learning and guiding students both in and out of the classroom for nearly two decades. Her passion and privilege are to bring students out into the world, connect them with people and places that challenge and inspire, and cultivate a practice of making positive change in ourselves and in the world. Rabbi Batshir holds a Bachelor's degree in secondary education as well as a Masters in Jewish education. She earned rabbinic ordination from the Academy for Jewish Religion, Los Angeles.



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