The Holy Land Democracy Project (HLDP) brings Israel education to charter, public, private and religious schools throughout Southern and Central California. By taking high school educators to Israel for a first-person experience and providing them with an interactive five-lesson unit, The Many Faces of Israel, they will use for five years as they are able to share their understanding of Israel with their students.
“An open-eyed, open-minded experience.”
The Holy Land Democracy Project was launched in 2004 primarily through our partnership with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, and Ventura Counties in local Catholic Schools. Today our work has expanded into independent private, charter, and public high schools. Our teachers come from an array of disciplines: History, Government, Social Sciences, Theology, and Literature, Math and Sciences. HLDP also works to establish partnerships with the schools themselves. (See the list below.)
Since the HLDP began, 241 teachers from 113 schools have participated in the journey and developed their experience for the classroom. As a result, we estimate those teachers helped over 35,000 students gain a fresh and unique perspective on Israel, its history and people, and its neighbors. The project has also spawned a handful of independent student trips to Israel.
“I feel incredibly lucky to have formed strong relationships with other excellent educators”
Making the Journey to Israel
In preparation for the trip, participating teachers attend a weekend retreat to explore the complex history of the Middle East and the Jewish people and an introduction to the State of Israel.
During the 10-day journey, teachers experience the country and the land, covering religious, historical and cultural elements, learning with renowned scholars, meeting local teachers and students, having dinners with families. As a result, they have first-hand knowledge of one of the most ethnically, politically and religiously diverse nations, and most dynamic democracies, in the world.
“I now have specific stories that I can incorporate in my teaching.”
Sharing the Vision Upon Return
In coordination with senior teachers we developed the dynamic and interactive five-lesson unit The Many Faces of Israel. Following their trip, teachers use those lessons in their classrooms as a vehicle for sharing their personal experience and inspiring their students to explore issues of historical, political and social significance through their own eyes. Throughout the five-year commitment and beyond, the staff of the HLDP provides continuing support to its teachers through resources, materials, guest speakers, and events.
The Holy Land Democracy Project is a deeply immersive experience that has a profound impact on its participants, their students, and on greater Los Angeles.
“I have never had the opportunity to see, experience, and learn so much, and so fast…”
Partial list of schools with teachers who have participated or currently participate in the Holy Land Democracy Project:
Bell Gardens H.S.
Bishop Conaty-Our Lady of Loretto
Bishop Montgomery H.S.
CALS California Academy for Liberal Studies
CHAMPS Charter High School of the Arts
Cleveland Charter H.S.
Crescenta Valley H.S.
Don Bosco Technical Institute
El Camino Real Charter H.S.
Environmental Science and Technology H.S.
Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy
Granada Hills Charter H.S.
Holy Family H.S.
Huntington Park College-Ready School
John Burroughs H.S.
Junipero Serra H.S.
La Canada H.S.
La Reina H.S.
LACES Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies
Larchmont Charter School
Los Angeles City College
Mater Dei H.S.
Newbury Park H.S.
Norte Vista H.S.
Oaks Christian School
Pacifica Christian H.S.
PUC Lakeview Charter H.S.
Ramona Covenant Secondary School
Sacred Heart H.S.
San Gabriel Mission H.S.
Santa Margarita H.S.
Santa Monica H.S.
Sierra Canyon School
SOCES Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies
St. Anthony H.S.
St. Genevieve H.S.
St. Lucy’s Priory H.S.
St. Monica Catholic H.S.
Ulysses S. Grant H.S.
Valley International Preparatory H.S.
Verbum Dei H.S.
Village Christian School
“The most inspiring trip of my life.”
Jonathan Freund, Senior Director