JDS celebrates Lag B’Omer with various field trips


Photo by Ella Waldman, LT

Students on the hiking trip stop for lunch at Annapolis Rock.

Nini Panner, Reporter

Students and staff celebrated Lag B’Omer on May 19 this year with a range of field trips that took students out of their normal schedule and into nature and the community. This was the first year CESJDS Upper School students went on field trips to celebrate the holiday. 

Lag B’Omer is the 33rd day of the Omer, a time of mourning between Pesach and Shavuot. The holiday is a break from the time of mourning, celebrating the accomplishment of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and the break of a plague that killed many of Rabbi Akiva’s students. 

The field trips were organized by Director of Arts Education David Solomon. Solomon hoped to offer students many opportunities to pursue an engaging or interesting activity. 

“We wanted to do something that emphasizes community and bonding as well as getting students the opportunity to be outside to celebrate Lag B’Omer,” Solomon said. “We haven’t had as many field trips this year as we have in the past because of COVID so because they were mostly outside trips, it’s a really great opportunity.”

Freshman and sophomore students had the choice to hike part of the Appalachian Trail, go to Washington D.C, visit Baltimore or volunteer at the lower school field day. The junior class traveled to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in D.C. 

The freshman and sophomore D.C. trip included a visit to Chinatown and Theodore Roosevelt Island, introducing students to a diverse community near JDS. The Baltimore field trip included a visit to the Baltimore Visual Arts Museum and a paddle boarding excursion on the Inner Harbor. 

As the end of the school year nears, students have been taking advantage of opportunities to connect and befriend peers. Junior Naomi Kazden doesn’t typically celebrate Lag B’Omer but enjoyed the opportunity the school provided this year. Kazden learned a lot about the history of racism and discrimination that African Americans suffer from, and got a breather from the rush of junior year. 

“It was a nice break and I think time well spent. My favorite part of the day was after the museum. We went and we sat on the mall and we all hung out as a grade. It was definitely a community bonding experience and I liked it because it was unstructured and we could just talk to our friends outside,” Kazden said. 

Students that traveled to the lower school chaperoned several events as part of the annual field day, guiding younger kids through fun and educational activities. Sophomore Libby Hurwitz found the experience interesting because she was able to “see how [the students] are approaching the activities … within the lens of kindergarten and pre-K kids.” 

Overall the Lag B’Omer trips offered a deeply meaningful experience for all. 

“Every single trip was a success,” Solomon said. “The students came back and said that they had a great time and it was a great experience and that’s terrific.”