Beyond the Classroom: 8th Grade


A Solomon Schechter education extends beyond the classroom and into the world. Students in 8th grade participate in the following activities and events:

Israel Trip

Schechter’s eighth-grade trip to Israel is Rogow Middle School’s capstone experience. Students prepare throughout their studies as they:

  • Learn modern Hebrew
  • Develop relationships with their Israeli teachers and young emissary
  • Learn about the modern State of Israel
  • Study Israeli culture: music, dance, cooking, Holiday celebrations
  • Communicate with Israeli contemporaries online through a school twinning program

All these learning experiences expose students to various aspects of Israel, historical and modern, connecting them to the land itself. During eighth grade, students spend significant time honing their language skills in preparation for the trip.

Our students travel to Israel with one or two other schools. In addition to experiencing Israel firsthand, they deepen their relationships with their own classmates, as well as develop new relationships with students from other Jewish day schools.

In Israel the students hike in the Negev, float on the Jordan River, bike in a bird sanctuary, hear David Ben Gurion declare independence in Tel Aviv’s Independence Hall, visit the old city of Jerusalem and the Kotel (Western Wall), swim in the Dead Sea, visit Yad Va’Shem (Holocaust Memorial Museum), explore the shuk (Ben Yehudah Market), sleep in a Bedouin tent, ride camels, stay with Israeli family and friends for Shabbat, and celebrate in the streets on Yom Haatzmaut.

The students return transformed by their experience having traveled without their families, made new friends, and shared this special time with classmates.

House of Bread

On a monthly basis, Rogow students school volunteer at the House of Bread, an organization that provides food and shelter for Hartford’s disadvantaged citizens. Rogow students prepare and serve food in small groups. Through their work, they learn to treat everyone with respect and dignity, as well as develop a deeper understanding of their community.

Sukkah Sleepover

The entire Rogow Middle School spends that night at Schechter during Sukkot for games, learning, singing, bonding and fun. The Young Israeli Emissary, in partnership with Rogow faculty, plan the evening. The students travel throughout the building for activities, eat dinner, and watch a movie with a special snack. They spend the next day participating in community service. Past service projects include

  • Cleaning the fields
  • Painting the gaga pit
  • Organizing the library
  • Making sandwiches for the homeless
  • Delivering blankets to shelters

Sukkot is a special time for students to take stock of their fortune, to learn about others and to give from themselves.