Naale Elite Academy |

Brain gain

Israel has long been a country that shares its brainpower. While many of its sharp minds end up living and working on foreign soil, there are many gifted and highly educated people who move to Israel. Some feel that Israel is experiencing a brain drain, but the brain gain balances the story

Darryl Egnal
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A new partnership between three educational organizations is adding to the Israeli brain gain through a program that is engineering engineers in Israel – both native Israelis and Jewish youth from the Diaspora.
Naale Elite Academy, World ORTs Anires Elite Academy and the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa have joined forces to launch a science and technology scholarship program for international and Israeli students. The program for Israeli students will be seven years long (starting in 10th grade), while the foreign students will also complete a pre-program year (9th grade) to acclimatize and learn Hebrew. The program continues until their university level engineering studies have been completed.

Selecting the top students
Known as the Anires Elite Academy program, it addresses the need for a long-term approach to help teenagers achieve an advanced academic degree in engineering. During the first stage of the program, students live and study at the WIZO Nahalal Youth Village in northern Israel through Naale, a well-established program that enables young Jews from the Diaspora to complete high school in Israel. After high school, they study at the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.
Naale Elite Academy has a very comprehensive testing process to ensure that only students who will be able to cope with all aspects of being away from their parents are accepted, including academic ability, maturity, independence and psychological aptitude, among others, says Ofer Dahan, director of Naale Elite Academy, Western World Region.

A good education
Alexander Cherkov is one of the first students on the pilot program. The 15-year-old from Moscow doesnt know what course he wants to follow at the moment, but his love of Physics ensures it will be part of the plan. Alexander was 14 when he found out about the traditional Naale program. He took the entrance exams and was accepted, but his parents felt he was too young to leave home.
He took them again a year later. When I passed all the Naale exams again, Naale suggested I do the Technion exams as well, he says. I passed them all too. I love technical subjects and since I heard about this program, I knew I wanted to study at the Technion. I know it is a good place for me. There is nothing like this in Russia.
Bulgarian student Eliezer Gershonov has dreamt of studying in Israel since the third grade. Now that hes here, he cant really believe it. I found out about the Anires program from the Naale representative, he says. She told me I was an excellent student and asked if I wanted to study in Israel and get a higher education there. There was no question. When I heard I had passed all the tests and was going to Israel, I was so excited. My dream has come true.
Eliezer's favorite subjects are Math, Physics and Chemistry, but unlike Alexander, he knows what he wants to study. We had a tiyul, an excursion, to the Technion when we first arrived. They explained all the courses, like mechanical engineering, robotics, aeronautics I thought, I like Math and Physics so why shouldnt I be an aeronautical engineer?' And so I just decided then that I would do it.
Boys arent the only ones on the Anires program. Dasha Levitan, who also comes from Russia, decided she too wanted to get a good education in an Israeli school. Her favorite subject is Math and she wants to use her love of Math to compete. I want to get a good education in Math, she says. This is the most important part for me. And I want to participate in Math Olympiads all over the world.
By engineering engineers in Israel, the Anires Elite Academy partnership will play its part in strengthening a nation that is well-known for its foresight and success in science and technology.

About the partners
Anires Elite Academy is a new and exciting science and technology scholarship program for international and Israeli students created by World ORT. The students study science and technology in high school and continue to the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology for a university degree in engineering.
World ORT, established in 1880, is the worlds largest Jewish education and vocational training non-governmental organization, with activities in more than 60 countries.
Naale Elite Academy was established in 1992 as a joint initiative of the Prime Ministers Office and the Ministry of Education. Its mission is to enable Jewish high school students worldwide to study and to finish high-school in Israel. More than 12,000 select high school students from the United States, Europe, the FSU, South America and South Africa have graduated through the program.
The WIZO Nahalal Youth Village was established in 1923 in northern Israel with a vision to provide a home and an education for its students. The school is co-educational with a student body of approximately 1,400 students in grades 7-12. The Youth Village focuses on the development and growth of each child while providing a high level, innovative education.
The Technion–Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa is one of the worlds leading institutes of science and technology. Three professors from the Technion won Nobel Prizes, and its graduates account for the majority of Israeli-educated scientists and engineers as well as a large percentage of the countrys entrepreneurs and high-tech managers.

For more information about Naale and about the Anires Elite Academy program, go to

Anieres Elite Academy students come to Israel to study EngineeringCredit: Darryl Egnal