PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Israeli educator Ziva Babian was wowed by what she saw at Calkins Road Middle School, and not just by the snow.

"Everything is so big, so tall, so different. Even the classroom is very well-planned, but the kids are the same kids, but the things that you do with them is so different," said Babian.

"We all want to be educated, but in a different way. The ways that I've seen here are amazing, and I plan to take then with me to my school in Modi'in."

Babian is visiting the United States for the first time through a Jewish Federation of Rochester-sponsored program called Partnership2Gether, which promotes international cultural connections between students and educators.

The exchange goes both ways, as a Calkins Road Middle School teacher visited Israel last year.

"There's an immediate connection,” said teacher Betsy Parke. “That’s what this whole program is about. It's a people-to-people connection. We are trying to get our students to really learn what life is really like, and as much as they think it's different, everything is very much the same."