Jewish life is lived to the full in school in so many ways. There are of course also trips that enhance these experiences such as the visit to the AJEX collection at the Jewish museum for Remembrance Day or the short walk to Fairlop Waters for the traditional religious ceremony of Tashlich, just after Rosh Hashanah.
However, two of the highlights of the Kantor King Solomon journey are the school trips to ISRAEL AND POLAND.
These trips did not run during academic year 2020-21 due to pandemic restrictions; we will keep in touch with the latest news for the coming academic year.
Our ANNUAL SIX-DAY POLAND TRIP offers Year 12 students a powerful and unforgettable educational group experience. The trip affords students the opportunity to explore important areas of the Holocaust, including visits to Auschwitz and Treblinka concentration camps and the major Jewish towns and cities once populated by the largest Jewish community in Europe. It is run by experienced and caring staff from our school in partnership with Israel Experience, who have been running programmes for schools across the world, for many years.
These thoughts form part of an article written by one of our 2019-20 participants:
On January 28th, I had the opportunity to go to Poland with my peers from Kantor King Solomon High School. Although I had heard so much about the programme, nothing could have prepared me for what I was going to learn, hear, see or feel.
We were each given a card with the name of a Holocaust victim-a name similar to ours- to remember during the trip. I was given a young girl who shared the same Hebrew name as me – Avigail; she tragically perished aged only 9. This was an extremely powerful moment for me as I held her close to my heart throughout the entire trip; to understand that the number ‘six million’ is made up of individuals just like myself helped me to connect with history and picture that every individual had a way of life, a family, a name. They were more than just victims, they were people.
On Friday, we had an early start for Auschwitz. Walking through Auschwitz overwhelmed me; I was flooded with emotion, grieving for millions of people that I never knew, but felt so connected to. Seeing their possessions, hair and shoes made me weak at the knees. I had no words; I had seen true evil pushed to its full extent. I was speechless, and still am. Auschwitz also empowered us as a group, walking hand in hand in and out, feeling so grateful and connected to our history in a way we never had before. Our Shabbat was so special, celebrated in honour of those who had shabbat torn away from them over 75 years ago. We sang, we laughed, we cried, we lived. Shabbat enabled us to process the life-changing week we had and made us feel even more thankful of our lives than usual. Our journey had come to an end, but the lessons we had learnt had only just begun to sink in. We were ready to share them with our friends, family and community. Poland impacted me in a way that nothing else ever will come close to; it made me even closer with my family and friends, but most importantly, with my Jewish identity and with the importance of respect for others in all their diversity.
OUR ISRAEL TRIP USUALLY RUNS EVERY TWO YEARS FOR STUDENTS IN YEARS NINE AND TEN. The nine-day programme takes pace in July and is once again run together with Israel experience. Staffed by teachers, youth leaders and guides, the programme follows a journey through the Land exploring sites of historical significance as well as experiencing the atmosphere and diversity of modern-day Israel. A memorable shabbat in Jerusalem, climbing Masada to see the spectacular sunrise from the top, shopping in the bustling markets and malls and floating in the Dead Sea are some of the highlights making this a trip full of memoires to last a lifetime.