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First Israel Trip for Pupils

31 May 2023

Pupils from Kisharon Noé School are just back from Israel after what may be the first exchange trip for children with learning disabilities. 

Children spent five days in Jerusalem and Ashdod as guests of Gvanim School in Ashdod whose pupils will be visiting Kisharon Noé School next month. 

From the El Al flight when pupils were invited into the cockpit, to a musical escort, with shofar blasts, into Jerusalem’s Old City, the trip was a non-stop round of activities and learning. Organisers have pledged to do it again. 


Deputy Head Adina Collins said “It has been a privilege to plan, lead and pioneer the first ever Kisharon Israel tour. Bringing this opportunity to our pupils has been like a dream come true for myself, the parents and most importantly for our pupils.”

Planning for the trip started last October. Along the way there were three meetings with parents, the final one to find out pupils’ bath and bedtime routines so staff could replicate these when the children were away. 

Adina said: “Now we’ve done a trip like this once, we’d definitely do it again. Next time we’d take pupils with more severe needs. We’re confident that no matter pupils’ level of ability, we’d make it work. It was emotional, fulfilling their dreams. Now they too were having the same experience as siblings who had been on a gap year or gone to yeshiva or sem.”

For the trip, staff invited pupils who were more able. Those who had never visited Israel were also a priority as were pupils leaving the school in the summer who might not have the opportunity to travel again. 

One parent said: “We never could have dreamed that Chanoch could have an experience like he and all of them did. They have precious memories of incredible experiences. Adina and the Kisharon team have surpassed all expectations in every way.”

While the trip was an unqualified success, the run up was not so smooth. The conflict in Gaza was worrying and the go ahead to travel came only late the night before departure.

Adina said: “Gvanim School had been in lockdown but quite late the lockdown was lifted. Parents were not unduly worried. They were supportive and trusting.”

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Pirkei Avos
“The world stands on three things: Torah, the service of G-d, and deeds of kindness.” Kisharon looks at the person not the disability, teaching Torah, Middos and Mitzvot embracing and cherishing everybody’s special talent and bringing out the best in them.