Due to overwhelming demand, Jewish National Fund-USA’s (JNF-USA) Alexander Muss High School in Israel (AMHSI) has added a second summer session to its 2020 calendar.

“While we read in the news about declining rates of Jewish student engagement, nothing could be further from the truth at AMHSI, as we see demand for our study-abroad programs exceed places,” said Rabbi Leor Sinai, co-CEO of AMHSI. “I believe that part of our ‘secret sauce’ relates to the fact that AMHSI is now seen as a world-class institute of academic excellence.”

Since 1972, AMHSI has been pioneering the academic and experiential study of Israel and Jewish history for high school students. Students are inspired to live outside of their books, encounter new ideas and challenge themselves to find their own link within the chain of Jewish continuity. AMHSI’s unique pedagogical approach fuses formal classroom study and experience-based learning, enhancing students’ intellectual understanding of history and emotional connection to identity.

“Our bold vision of transforming tomorrow’s generation today encourages students to return to their home communities prepared to give back and inspired to become the rising generation of Jewish leadership,” said AMHSI president Ron Werner. “While it’s been over 35 years since I attended AMHSI, I still utilize the leadership skills that I learned during my time at Muss in my professional endeavors.”

AMHSI’s Hod Hasharon campus, just 20 minutes outside of Tel Aviv, allows for an immersive experience through informal encounters with Israelis, exposing students to the local culture, language and environment, as well as providing them with a place to call home. Students also enjoy independence within a structured system, developing learning and leadership skills while forming friendships and making memories that last a lifetime.

“I felt it was important for my daughter to take part in an enrichment program that fused Jewish learning with academic excellence. The experiences and memories that my daughter took away from her time at AMHSI will forever be with her, and I assume that AMHSI’s study-abroad program played some part in her acceptance into Harvard University,” said AMHSI Arizona board member Lori Miller.

JNF-USA is the leading philanthropic organization for Israel that supports critical environmental and nation-building activities in Israel’s north and south. Through its One Billion Dollar Roadmap for the Next Decade, JNF-USA is developing new communities in the Galilee and Negev, connecting the next generation to Israel and creating infrastructure for ecology, special needs and heritage preservation.

“Ten years ago, having good grades was enough to get you into a top college; however, admissions officers now want to see what other extra-curricular activities applicants have undertaken on top of their formal education,” said AMHSI’s national director of recruitment and AMHSI alumnus Rabbi Greg Litcofsky. “A semester at AMHSI is the ultimate pre-college ‘triple play.’ Students not only receive formal secular education in an environment of academic excellence, but they also learn about their Jewish roots in an experiential setting while adding a study-abroad program to their resume.”

As of September 2019, over 1,200 students have taken part in AMHSI study-abroad programs in Israel. Prospective students can visit AMHSI.org or call 800-327-5980 for more information on AMHSI’s 2020 summer semester.

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