At Miami International Airport on June 21, 200 eager high school students boarded an EL AL flight to Israel, where six weeks of excitement, adventure, and academic excellence awaits them. The students, who attend local high schools including: Miami Palmetto Sr High, Cypress Bay Sr High, and David Posnack Jewish Day School, will be attending Foundations Israel, a unique experiential learning program from Alexander Muss High School in Israel (Muss), Jewish National Fund-USA’s flagship study abroad in Israel experience.

JNF Israel Emissary Zohar Vloski (left) and Israeli Consul General in Miami, Maor Elbaz-Starinsky (center), pictured with AMHSI students bound for Israel

A six-week program, Foundations Israel offers students a one-of-a-kind combination of core classes and trips throughout Israel, using the land as a living and breathing classroom. Beginning with the Middle Bronze Age and ending with the modern Middle East, students will go on a journey through chronological history, delving deep into understanding their connection to Israel and the Jewish Diaspora.

Jewish National Fund Israel Emissary, Education, Zohar Vloski said: “I will never stop being excited to see another 200 students we bring from Florida to Israel, students who have chosen to make their summer vacation for six weeks of Israeli studies in our homeland.”

Before leaving, the students heard from Israeli Consul General in Miami, Maor Elbaz-Starinsky, who shared his hopes and aspirations for the students. “I want to commend Alexander Muss, the students in Israel, and Jewish National Fund-USA for implementing this wonderful program of sending so many young adults to Israel,” he said. “It is extremely important to come to Israel at this stage, not only to boost support but also to learn – to learn about Israel’s reality, to learn about the Israeli way of life, about the challenges, about the advantages, and why the connection between Israel and the Jewry of the United States is of extreme importance. We need you, we want you, we love you, so please come back and be the best ambassadors of Israel that I can ever dream of being.”

Students get ready for their trip of a lifetime to Alexander Muss High School in Israel

Parents also got to see their children off, excited by the opportunity for learning, growth, and fun that they will experience in Israel. “It was truly thrilling and emotional to see so many teens on their way to Muss this morning at the airport,” said Rabbi Judith Siegal of Temple Judea, who was there to farewell her son, Josh. “Josh was already reconnecting with old friends he had not seen in years, at the same time, he was meeting new people who will soon be his friends. I met a few families who were sending their children to the program that they themselves enjoyed 30-ish years ago! What an incredible thing to see a dream realized that has changed the lives of so many Jewish people over the past 50 years. I cannot wait to hear the reports about all their adventures.”

“It was so exciting to be in the airport this morning with so many excited teenagers as they head to Israel for the experience of a lifetime,” added Audra Berg, another Muss parent. “Even if our kids have been to Israel before, as parents, we know that the opportunity for our students to do High School in Israel cannot be duplicated. I can’t wait to hear about the education and the experiences that he has with new friends and old.”

In honor of its 50th anniversary, Alexander Muss High School in Israel launched a fundraising campaign for a $10 million endowment fund, safeguarding the institutional belief that the life-changing experience of studying in Israel should be available to beyond those who can afford full tuition. For more information about Muss, visit amhsi.org or contact Zohar Vloski at zvloski@jnf.org.

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Jewish National Fund-USA
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 and programs that support ecology, individuals with special needs, and heritage site preservation.
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