Seventh Grade Retreat – A Huge Success

What can seventh graders accomplish in a single day? Develop leadership skills, cook dinner, play games, plant a community garden bed, learn to diminish bullying, sing, make s'mores, Torah Yoga, singing... It's hard to believe but our seventh grade students packed all of that, and more, into the second annual HMJDS Seventh Grade Retreat. From the end of school on Tuesday, April 19, through the end of the day on the 20th, the whole class learned and laughed together, even sleeping over at school while eighth grade was in Washington, DC.

With a focus on their future leadership as next year's eighth graders, the students started the retreat by opening up to one another about the things that make each of them unique, recognizing that those differences are what make us stronger. Later, we built upon that theme by looking at the impact of bullying on every person involved. Each student, privately, making a pledge to themselves to make changes that will help eliminate bullying from their spheres of influence. We capped off the evening with a bonfire, singing, s'mores and a movie.

On Wednesday, students engaged in a special t'filla through yoga, took part in an awesome math competition, cleaned Cedar Lake Road from the JCC to LifeTime, relaxed and read (or caught up on homework), and finished the day celebrating the work of Jessica Jacobson, our school counselor who has been subbing for Josie Steelman while she's on maternity leave. Jessica played a special role in our retreat, helping lead the anti-bullying program and pulling the 8pm to 6am shift along with Mr. Mintz. Special thanks to all the faculty who participated, but especially to Mr. Mintz, Ms. Becker, Ms. Cytron, Ms. Budda and Ms. Thor for their help with planning.



  • Field Trip
  • Seventh Grade

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