American teens arrive in Israel for life-changing semester abroad

The students will spend the next four months of their lives exploring 4,000 years of Jewish history.

Muss students arriving in Israel. Credit: JNF-USA.
Muss students arriving in Israel. Credit: JNF-USA.

Thirty-five students arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv to begin the adventure of a lifetime at Jewish National Fund-USA’s Alexander Muss High School in Israel (Muss), the organization’s premier college-prep, semester abroad in Israel experience for American teens.

The arrival marks a triumphant return for Muss, which sent students home early in the fall following the October 7 terrorist attacks, though not before students created over 1,700 care packages for displaced Israelis and raised over $100k to support relief efforts.

As always, the safety and security of Muss students remains the number one priority. The school has multiple layers of security in place to ensure the students can enjoy their semester and explore their Jewish identity with the same peace of mind they enjoy in the U.S.

“Like so many, I find welcoming students at this time very emotional,” said Muss Head of School Dr. Stephen Kutno. “Our staff have cried tears of joy at the thought of the commitment and support these students represent. We know that they will have a unique and meaningful experience as they study the history of our people in our land.”

Students excited to start their semester abroad. Courtesy of JNF-USA.

In addition to their regular classes, the students will spend the next four months of their lives exploring 4,000 years of Jewish history while using the land of Israel as a living and breathing classroom. Many students are also sure to take advantage of the plethora of exciting service-learning opportunities that will bring them closer to the land and people of Israel.

“It is more relevant than ever for Jewish American teens to experience firsthand the beauty of Israel and the importance of its continued existence,” said Muss President Ron Werner. “I am so proud of our students for taking the leap and spending an entire semester abroad, and I’m confident that they will emerge as future leaders of our thriving Jewish and Zionist communities.”

For more information about Alexander Muss High School in Israel’s semester and summer programs, visit amhsi.org.

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Jewish National Fund-USA builds a strong, vibrant future for the land and people of Israel through bold initiatives and Zionist education. As a leading philanthropic movement, the organization supports critical environmental and nation-building activities in Israel’s north and south as it develops new communities in the Negev and Galilee, connects the next generation to Israel, and creates infrastructure and programs that support ecology, people with disabilities, and heritage site preservation, all while running a fully accredited study abroad experience through its Alexander Muss High School in Israel.
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