Athens College High School Expedition to Israel



Continuing a tradition of 51 years, Athens College High School conducted its annual 
Expedition – a field trip viewed as one of the School’s prime institutions – from February 27 to March 3, 2019.  EXPEDITION 2019 took the students to Israel: a trip whose highlights included a visit to His Beatitude the Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem, a meeting with the students of the Lyceum of the Holy Community of the All Holy Sepulcher, a visit to the Yad Vashem Museum and a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.


This year’s mission to Israel was comprised of 26 High School students – members of the Expedition Club and the 15-member Student Council – and
 4 teacher-chaperones.  They spent the first two days in Jerusalem and the following two in Tel Aviv.



 

On the morning of the first day in Jerusalem, the Mission visited the Lyceum of the All Holy Sepulcher. The exchange of gifts and experiences were accompanied by a sincere promise that this first exchange between the two schools will be the harbinger of many productive collaborations ahead.  Following the school visit, they went on a pilgrimage to the holy sites of Christianity: the Church of the Resurrection, the Holy Sepulcher, Calvary Hill (Golgotha) and the site of the Crucifixion.




The afternoon of that same day was dedicated to a visit to the Yad Vashem – World Holocaust Remembrance Center.  It was a compelling and immersive experience as, in this museum, the horrific events of World War II and the devastation suffered by the Jewish people are presented through the personal testimonies of Holocaust survivors.

The following day included a visit to the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and a meeting with Patriarch Theophilos III.  The discussion with His Beatitude was highly illuminating as to the prominent position of the Patriarchate in the Middle East and its work, in collaboration with the Holy Fathers Brotherhood, for the preservation and protection of the Most Holy Shrines.

 

Next stops were visits to Jericho, the Jordan River, the Dead Sea, the Monasteries of the Holy Cross and St. Simeon of Katamon, the Tomb of the Virgin Mary (Agia Gethsemane), the Mount of Olives and the Wailing Wall.

The Expedition concluded with a visit to cosmopolitan Tel Aviv, the historic district of Jaffa, and strolls though the picturesque alleys of the city.

 

Undoubtedly, this year’s Expedition to Israel was an unforgettable, lifetime experience, unlike all previous ones.