Our trips give teens the opportunity to live our Jewish values, pray with their feet, and talk about the role of the Jewish community and the impact of individuals who can and should make a difference in the world today. They are also incredible bonding opportunities, with friendships forming that span grades. The trips are staffed by members of the Department of Lifelong Learning and community service hours are available for all of our trips.
To register for an Academy Trip please click here.
8th-9th Grade: Civil Rights Journey
Tour Guide/Organization: MEJDI Tours
Save the Date: February 16-19, 2024
8th and 9th graders will travel together with teens from Stephen Wise Free Synagogue to Georgia and Alabama to explore the sites of the Civil Rights Movement and the legacy of this transformative time. In Atlanta, we will see the burial site and childhood home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and unpack the story of Leo Frank – made famous by the Broadway musical Parade. In Birmingham, we will see Kelly Ingram Park, where peaceful were infamously broken up with high-pressure water cannons and dogs. In Selma, we walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, site of John Lewis’s famous march for voting rights. And in Montgomery, we will visit the memorial for lynchings, the site where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, and the Southern Poverty Law Center an organization that today monitors hate speech and prejudice against any group. Along the way, we will learn about the role Jews played in the movement and the implications of that activism for us The trip will depart in the early morning of Friday, February 16 and return in the early evening of Monday, February 19.
10th-12th Grade: Berlin
Tour Guide/Organization: Jonathan Goldstein of Cicerone Travel
Save the Date: February 15-20, 2024
10th-12th graders will travel together with teens from Stephen Wise Free Synagogue to Berlin, capital of Germany for a long weekend of Jewish history and culture. Few countries embody so many historical contradictions: Enlightenment high culture, a dramatic descent into depravity, and an ongoing confrontation with past sins. The most powerful country in Europe – with fast-growing Jewish and refugee communities – holds the keys to the continent’s past and future. As such we will look at the Jewish culture that existed from the Middle Ages until the modern area. Part of that exploration will include the birth of the Reform Movement in the 1800s as Jews strived to assimilate into broader culture. We will of course look at the Nazi era and the Cold War that followed, with a particular emphasis the legacy that both have today. The trip will depart in the mid-afternoon of Thursday, February 15 and return in the early evening of Tuesday, February 20.
10th-12th Grade: Washington, DC
Tour Guide/Organization: Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Save the Date: December 15-18, 2023
10th-12th graders can also attend the L’Taken (Hebrew for “to change”) Seminar in Washington, DC. Working in partnership with the Religious Action Center, the Reform movement’s advocacy arm in our nation’s capitol, teens will learn about the complex and nuanced nature lobbying and how it plays a role in today’s political system. Participants will also unpack current issues which are being debated in Congress, ultimately picking one of their own and creating a speech about it which they will deliver on Capitol Hill! Time will also be allocated for visits to the US Holocaust Museum, the MLK memorial, and the Smithsonian museums on the National Mall. The trip will depart on a Friday morning and return the following Monday evening. Limited space is available, and priority registration will be given to those teens who cannot join us in Prague.