Popular Israel Program for American Teens Opens New Campus in Negev

The Alexander Muss High School in Israel to hold dedication ceremony Thursday marking the official opening.

Judy Maltz
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Judy Maltz

The Alexander Muss High School in Israel, one of the oldest and most popular educational programs in the country for American teenagers, will officially open its brand new campus in the Negev on Thursday.

Russell Robinson, chief executive officer of the Jewish National Fund, is heading a delegation of donors that will participate in the dedication ceremony at the Eshel HaNasi Youth Village, right outside of Be’er Sheva.

More than 20,000 students have participated in the AMHSI program, which was opened in 1972 and includes intensive Jewish studies as well as tours around Israel. The non-denominational program offers high school students, and occasionally even college students, credits for the courses they take in Israel. The school, whose main campus is in Hod Hasharon, about 20 minutes north of Tel Aviv, offers six-to-eight-week, summer, and full semester programs. It has longstanding partnerships with Jewish day schools all over the United States that encourage their students to participate in the program.

According to Ron Shavit, the marketing director of AMHSI, the first group of 17 students to study at the new Negev campus, among them several teenagers from Switzerland, arrived in November. The students were temporarily evacuated to Hod Hasharon during the latest round of fighting between Israel and Hamas, when the southern region of the country came under intense rocket fire.

Marking its 40th anniversary, and also coinciding with the inauguration of the new campus, AMHSI recently published a catalog featuring some of its most prominent graduates. Among them are Matisyahu, the American reggae star, Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, and Lauren Weisberger, author of “The Devil Wears Prada.”

Students in a school (illustrative).Credit: Ilya Melnikov

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