A JK-12 pluralistic school that engages students in an exemplary and inspiring general and Jewish education.

Irene and Daniel Simpkins Senior Capstone Israel Trip

The Irene and Daniel Simpkins Senior Capstone Israel Trip is a unique and extraordinary adventure. Following their February graduation, students travel together to Eastern Europe and Israel, where they spend the semester living, learning, exploring and celebrating together.

They follow the historic footprints of their ancient and modern forbearers, uncover the magnificence and tragedy of Eastern European Jewish life, and discover the vibrant culture of modern Israel. Guided by teachers from the Alexander Muss High School in Israel (AMHSI), students:
  • Learn about nature and the environment, debate the complex challenges facing the State of Israel
  • Explore various approaches to Judaism, and volunteer their energy and skills alongside students from around the world.
  • Hike, bike, dance, and swim, while challenging themselves to new levels of personal growth.

CESJDS seniors develop independence, while strengthening their ties to one another and their community. They learn to live abroad and process new life experiences within the familiar intellectual, social, and spiritual context that distinguished their high school years. More than a trip, the Senior Capstone Trips are a joyous and life-altering step on the journey of self-discovery.

Senior Capstone Trips: Israel

Highlights of Israel

Students watch the sunrise at Massada, swim in the Dead Sea and hike some of the paths walked by the Jewish people for thousands of years. Learn more about their time in Israel and view the photo gallery.

Senior Capstone Trips: Eastern Europe

Highlights from Eastern Europe

Students learn about the history of the Jewish people in Eastern Europe, daven at the Nozyk Synagogue in Warsaw, and visit the death camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek. Learn more about this powerful experience and view the photo gallery.

Trip Testimonials

What was it like going to Israel after 13 years at CESJDS?
Describe your experience in visiting Poland and Eastern Europe with classmates.
What was it like spending three months in Israel?
What would you say to seniors considering going on the trip?


AMHSICESJDS partners with the Alexander Muss High School in Israel (AMHSI) to coordinate our trips to Europe and Israel. AMHSI is a pluralistic, college-prep, international study abroad program for high school students where the land of Israel is a living classroom.

Students experience the core curriculum, taught by our renowned educators, as they explore 4,000 years of Jewish and Israel history by climbing Masada with the Romans, fighting the Crusaders at Belvoir, or hearing the mystics at Tzfat.

Based at our Hod HaSharon campus, students live a college campus-like lifestyle where they enjoy independence within a structured system supported by professional staff and dedicated counselors. Students develop lifelong learning and leadership skills and form strong friendships that last a lifetime within our diverse student body.