About us

Alexander Muss High School in Israel (AMHSI) is a place of exploration and discovery.  

Since 1972 – 26,000 alumni later – AMHSI has been pioneering the academic and experiential study of Israel and Jewish history at the high school level.  Students are inspired to live outside their books, encounter new ideas and challenge themselves to find their own link within the chain of Jewish continuity.

Our unique pedagogical approach fuses formal classroom study and experience-based learning, enhancing students’ intellectual understanding of history and emotional connection to identity.  AMHSI provides students with the context and framework to form their own sense of Jewish peoplehood in preparation for college and life beyond.

The AMHSI model highlights the benefits of a long-term Israel program.  Our Hod HaSharon campus 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.

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.


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Our vision and mission

The AMHSI vision is to transform tomorrow’s generation today.

For the 26,000 alumni over the past 45 years, the impact of the Alexander Muss High School in Israel is reflected in their ongoing commitment to Israel, to Jewish life and to making our world better.

Our mission is to create a transformative experience for teens through study abroad programs in Israel.

AMHSI’s multifaceted approach to experiential learning provides multiple entry points into the Jewish narrative, encouraging each and every student to discover their own way to connect to their heritage.


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Our history

High School in Israel was founded in 1972 by Rabbi Morris (Z”L) and Lenore Kipper, together with the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.

The school revolutionized experiential education, and in particular, the way history was taught and the way Israel was experienced, by providing a historically chronological exploration of the land, through the study of historic events, places and people.

Following the involvement of the Muss family in 1981, the school changed its name to the Alexander Muss High School in Israel.

Founded to capitalize on the enormous educational benefits of engaging high school students in the study of the history and culture of Israel, AMHSI’s innovative program is recognized today throughout the US and abroad for providing the ultimate in quality Israel educational programming.

In 2013, AMHSI merged with JNF with the goal of further growing and enhancing Jewish continuity and Israel connectivity amongst youth.


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Our partners

AMHSI can tailor its programs to fit any specific religious or programming requests from day school groups or other community trips.

AMHSI has been a leading provider of custom-designed academic programs in Israel and Eastern Europe for Jewish day schools and community programs throughout North America and Australia since 1995.  We work with each school or community organization to create a meaningful, engaging and transformative Israel educational experience for 8th grade trips and high school students with programs ranging in length from two weeks to five months.

To find out more about programming options for your school or group, please contact Head of School, Mordechai Cohen, at mcohen@amhsi.org.


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Some of our day school partners include:

Other AMHSI partners include:


We are proud to share that ninety eight percent of AMHSI alumni consider the program the most transformational educational experience of their lifetime!

Because of the impact of the AMHSI experience, many of our 24,000 alumni and their family members have expressed their appreciation and gratitude in writing or on video. Often, alumni return to campus to see us in person (some several years later with their children!).  A large percentage of our incoming students are children of AMHSI alumni. Read below to see how AMHSI has impacted the lives of our graduates!

Prospective students who would like to speak with an alumnus prior to attending AMHSI should contact their local AMHSI Director of Admissions.

If you have a testimonial you want to share with us, please send to ambassador@amhsi.org.


Student testimonials

“Not only did I learn a tremendous amount about my religion, culture and Israel, but also I got to hike mountains, meet a famous artist, go to the beach, travel the country, sleep in the desert, eat endless hummus, meet extraordinary people that changed my life for the better and most importantly, I learned to try new things.  Going on AMHSI is something that separates you from the pack and will make you unique when applying for colleges, internships and jobs.  Trust me.”  -Brett Kaufman, April 2011

“Because of Muss, I am forever changed as a friend, a student, a world citizen, and a Jew.” -Isabel Glass, February 2014

“Going on AMHSI was by far the most amazing eight weeks of my life.  I learned so much and was able to connect to Israel in a new, unique way.  I met unbelievable people that I am sure will be life-long friends and my teachers were outstanding.  Everything felt right.  I saw so many spectacular historical sites, my favorites being the Kotel, Masad, and Yad Veshem.  The feeling I had is really too much to explain, but I really became attached to the land and found no trouble uncovering my Jewish Identity.  It’s a feeling and experience I will keep with me for the rest of my life.” -Jamie Weil, April 2010

“HSI is a great program to go on. It was a great trip for me because it prepared me for college.” – Jordan Neam

“AMHSI changed my life for the rest of time.  It helped me grow up and look into the meanings and prospects of my future and past.  I am so amazingly grateful to all those who helped send me on this wonderful journey, which I still find myself walking.” -Danielle Zabrauskas, December 2009

“It was amazing to learn new things about my ancestors. It made me feel more connected that I ever did before.”  -Ella Debode, April 2015

“I had the passport and I spoke the language but I didn’t have anything to show for it.  It would’ve been hard for me to defend Israel before; now, I have the tools that I need.”  -Britt Jacobson, AMHSI – Milken Tiferet Israel Fellowship, Spring 2015

“Alexander Muss High School in Israel was one of the best experiences I have ever had! I got to meet some awesome people and make tons of new friends!.” -Natalie Avraham, December 2004

“HSI gave me an intense love and commitment to Jewish life and being involved in the Jewish community.” -Joshua McLeod, February 2007

“HSI offers a premium education on the history of the Jewish establishment of the state of Israel, an ultimate bonding experience and an opportunity to interact with and visit Israel, the Jewish homeland. The teachers are knowledgeable and engaging, the counselors accommodating and warm, and the dorm life is vibrant. Don’t think about it, just sign up and I can assure you that you won’t regret it.” – Bernard Cohen, Summer 2011


Parent and grandparent testimonials

“Many thanks to AMHSI staff for a wonderful experience at HSI for our granddaughter, Deedee. She really did fall in love with Israel and came home very happy and excited about the experience and the new chevra. We are very grateful.”  Michael and Connie 

“I was truly not prepared for the depth and wealth of all that Sarah would get from her AMHSI experience – from the wonderful teacher she has, to the tiyulim all over the country, to the innovative learning and teaching, to the camaraderie with the other students, to the free Shabbat experiences, and even the chance to actually LIVE in the community and walk into town, shop, eat, smell and breathe the culture and life of Israelis. Wow!”   Laurie

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Mordechai Cohen

Head of School

Mordechai Cohen loves teaching and loves to see his students excited by their Jewish heritage. Mordechai brings with him a rich and qualified background in leadership and Jewish/Israel education, having worked extensively with youth in a number of settings. After graduating from the University of Southern California with a BA in International Relations, Mordechai went on to study at different yeshivot in Israel. He served as a coordinator for the Livnot U’Lehibanot program in both Tzfat and Jerusalem. He also studied on the Pardes Educators Program and did post-graduate study at Hebrew University’s Melton Center. He went on to teach at New Jewish Community High School in Los Angeles. Mordechai then returned to Israel and worked as a pedagogy instructor for the teacher training program at the Shalom Hartman Institute. Mordechai also worked as a tour operator for the Israel Experience Ltd. In 2009, Mordechai returned to North America and served as the Jewish Studies Principal for the Danilack Middle School of Associated Hebrew Schools in Toronto, North America’s oldest and largest day school. In 2013, he once again returned to Israel and is now an educator at AMHSI.

Orit Rome

Co-Executive Director

Orit Rome is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and holds a BA degree in Accounting and Economics from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Although she was born in Israel, she spent her teens in Australia. While studying, Orit was active in the Australian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS), where she also served as regional president. Since returning to Israel in 1996, Orit has gained deep financial and managerial experience. Prior to joining AMHSI, Orit was an auditor for Price Waterhouse Coopers and a Financial Director in the high-tech and industrial arena.

Rachelle Sevitt

Dean of General Studies

Originally from the UK, Rachelle has been working at AMHSI as a part of the academic staff since 1997 teaching chemistry and math. She received her BS and MSc in Chemistry from Kings College, University of London. She is now serving as the Acting Dean of General Studies.

Rabbi Leor Sinai

Co-Executive Director

Originally from New York, Rabbi Leor Sinai made aliyah, moving with his family to Israel in June 2011.  As a young adult, he was involved in NYC’s night life as a club producer and MC (Master of Ceremonies), in 1995 that all changed while he spent the academic year abroad studying at Haifa University in Israel.  Leor returned to the States and completed his BA with a major in Jewish Studies and a minor in Theater from the City University of New York’s Hunter College.  He has previously worked in the fields of leadership development, organizational advancement and consulting.  Leor decided to continue his education at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, receiving ordination and a Masters in Hebrew Letters in 2009.  He continues to work passionately on building a network of partners, with Israel at its center, focusing on Jewish continuity and Israel connectivity for generations to come.  Leor began his tenure as Co-Executive Director at the international Alexander Muss High School in Israel in October 2013.

Hindie Fried

Director of Operations, North America

David Mitchell

Dean of Israel Studies

David Mitchell was born and raised in Northern California. He completed a double BA in History and Hebrew Texts at the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He then received an MA with honors in Bible from the Hebrew University. David made aliyah in 1975, and lived on kibbutzim for seven years. He is married to Ruti, a native Israeli and together they have two sons and two daughters. David has been in education since college, and served as a teacher in Jewish day schools and Hebrew Schools in Northern California, and worked as a research and teacher’s assistant while in graduate school. He taught history for the Young Judea Year Course and taught career soldiers history and Hebrew grammar while serving in the Israel Defense Forces between  1980-1982, where he still serves on active reserve duty.

In 1984, David became a teacher at the Alexander Muss High School in Israel. During that time, he also served as an Israel emissary for the Youth and Hechalutz Department of the Jewish Agency to the Pacific Southwest Region of USY. In addition to teaching history, he has also traveled to the US with AMHSI to train Philadelphia-based Jewish educators, and has served as a Scholar-in-Residence  in Boca Raton, spoken in camps and elsewhere. David was named Dean of Education in 2004.

Yardena Spector-Nizri

Dean of Students

Born in Israel, Yardena was very active in the Scouts Youth Movement for many years and later became the Program Director of Short Term Programs for Young Judea from 1994 to 1998. She went on ‘shlichut’ from 1998-2000 for the Jewish Agency to work for Young Judea in New Jersey.

Since 2000, she has worked as Dean of Students at AMHSI and in 2004, was made Director of Programming and Student Life.

Directors of Admission

Rabbi Greg Litcofsky

National Director of Recruitment

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Rabbi Greg Litcofsky is a proud alumnus of Alexander Muss High School in Israel. He is the son of two Jewish educators and lives with his wife and three children in Livingston, NJ.  He is a graduate of Penn State University, holds a Master’s Degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and was ordained in New York at The Hebrew Union College-Jewish institute of Religion.  Throughout his career he has brought a passion to his work for Jewish education, social justice, leadership development and Zionism, working as a passionate advocate for the Land and the People of Israel.  Prior to joining the AMHSI team, Greg was an active member of the National Alumni Council.  He also currently serves on the board of JOIN for Justice.  AMHSI was a life changing experience for Greg and says “what a blessing and gift it is to be able to do this holy work helping a new generation of students experience the same muss magic I did 25 years ago! I can’t wait for my own kids to go!”  Greg remains a diehard Philly sports fan and tries his best to enjoy a good round of golf when he is able.


Efrat (Effie) Ostroff

Israel Programs Admissions Director

Effie was born and raised in Israel. Following her national service in the Israeli Navy, Effie went on to study at Hebrew University in Jerusalem where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and then continued her academic studies attaining a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Ben Gurion University. Effie has held several challenging and exciting leadership positions in international hi-tech companies like HP as well as with younger start-up companies. Effie has always wanted to give back to the community and loves doing this as a qualified educator (Beit Beryl). Effie has several years of experience working with Israeli high school students and has taught at Kiryat Ono High School one of the highest rated high schools in Israel.

In the summer of 2015, Effie, her husband Dan and their three children relocated to Northbrook, IL to continue the expansion of Dan’s internet technology business. The three teenage children are thoroughly enjoying their experience attending the Jewish day schools in the area.

Dana Gerbie Klein

Director of Admissions
Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, International, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, Wyoming


Dana Gerbie Klein lives in Boston, MA.  She was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in Evanston.  She first visited Israel with her confirmation class on a NFTY trip when she was 16.  After graduating from Tulane University, she lived for a year in Yoqneam, Israel as a Sherut Laam volunteer and returns to Israel frequently to visit.  She has a Master’s degree in Jewish Communal Service from the Benjamin S. Hornstein Program at Brandeis University.  She worked for several years at the Jewish Federation of the North Shore in Marblehead, MA.  Dana’s 3 daughters are all alumni of AMHSI.  She is passionate about sending teens to Israel with AMHSI!

Alicia Press

Director of Admissions
Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas


Alicia is a third generation native Miamian and an early High School in Israel alumna. Alicia has long been affiliated with Temple Beth Torah of North Miami Beach and was a member of USY. Alicia attended the University of Florida, earning a BS in Political Science and returned to Miami pursuing a career in the luxury jewelry and watch industry. In 2010, Alicia joined the staff of Feeding South Florida, the state’s largest food bank, as the organization’s Program Director. Alicia managed and coordinated the organization’s five largest programs serving the Dade, Broward, Monroe and Palm Beach county areas.

During her tenure at Feeding South Florida, Alicia became involved with the Temple Beth Emet Nosh Fest Event in Cooper City and now sits on the Executive Steering Committee for the yearly event. She also is on the executive board for the South Florida Hunger Coalition and the Starlight Foundation’s annual Fundraising Gala benefiting Miami Children’s Hospital. Alicia is still an active volunteer in many community-based organizations.

Alicia’s passion and support of both Israel and the AMHSI program has been a lifelong commitment and she is dedicated to giving students the opportunity to experience Israel through this outstanding program.

Amy Cytron

Israel Programs Admissions Director
Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North & South Dakota


Originally from a small city in Illinois, Amy moved to Minneapolis during college.  She first visited Israel with her family at 11 years old and returned recently to see how much Israel has prospered.  Her educational background is in Family Social Science from the University of Minnesota.

Amy has been in Jewish communal work for all of her adult life both professionally and as a volunteer.  Most recently, she worked with NECHAMA – Jewish Response to Disaster and Adath Jeshurun Congregation where she did fundraising, membership recruitment and community organizing.  Amy and her family are very much immersed in the Twin City’s Jewish community and Herzl Camp, a Zionist overnight summer camp where she is a past president of the organization.

Amy is excited to use her passion and love for Israel to help even more high school students discover the AMHSI experience!

Lex Paul

Israel Programs Admissions Director
LA Area

A Native of Los Angeles, Lex Paul grew up involved with Israel and entrenched in his local community – attending Day School, working at summer camps, and running a local youth program. After  managing bars and restaurants in Seattle and Los Angeles, Lex rediscovered his passion and commitment to Israel and the Jewish people and lived for 6 years in the Negev Desert, working with developing small communities. Now back in California with his wife and two children, Lex is excited to bring more young people to experience AMHSI in Israel.

Sharona Thall

Israel Programs Admissions Director
New York


Sharona Thall joined AMHSI in September 2016. After spending the last 20 years in Education, Event Programming and Production, and Sales, Sharona is truly excited to combine her passion and skills as an IPAD at AMHSI. She brings with her love for Israel, combined with a passion to instill that love in today’s teenagers. That passion is combined with a deep desire to prepare students to be strong leaders and Israel advocates on their respective campuses across the country.

When Sharona is not working at AMHSI, she is a mother to three daughters and the co-owner of a healthy, personal chef business, “Green Cuisine”.

Alissa Hartnig

Israel Programs Admissions Director
Pacific Northwest


Alissa lives in Seattle, WA. Born and raised in Atlanta, GA, she first fell in love with Israel as a participant of AMHSI herself. Her time at AMHSI started what would become a lifelong passion for travel, Israel and Judaism and is so lucky to be able to work for a community that gave her so much. When Alissa isn’t travelling the world or frolicking around Mt. Rainier, she spends her time in coffee shops throughout the city, as she continues her lifelong search for Seattle’s best vanilla latte.

Maura Koenig

Israel Programs Admissions Director
New York


Maura grew up in Syracuse, NY and was extremely involved with her synagogue, her youth group and was a long-time, passionate camper and counselor at URJ Eisner Camp, including both going on and then leading the NFTY in Israel trip. Maura is a 2011 graduate of SUNY Oswego where she earned a BA in theater. Maura has a passion for Jewish education and Israel and has been doing youth work since graduation. She was the Director of Youth Engagement at Scarsdale Synagogue and is now also working with the junior youth groups at Temple Shaaray Tefila on the Upper East Side. Somewhere in-between, Maura worked for a Broadway advertising agency.  Maura is a Birthright Fellow and involved actively with many 20’s and 30’s Jewish groups in Manhattan. She is so thrilled to be a part of the Muss and JNF family and can’t wait to educate about Israel and work with teens and their families to help them study in Israel.

Maura loves cats, musical theater, and anything pink and sparkly.

Andrea Schleider

Director of Admissions


Andrea Schleider came to AMHSI in August of 2012, after spending several years working in media relations and communications at Habitat for Humanity. She has more than six years of experience working in development at Jewish National Fund and at Lehrman Community Day School in Miami, FL. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Mass Media and Communications from the State University of New York at Old Westbury. During her mid-twenties, Andrea attended the WUJS Israel program, allowing her the opportunity study and work in Israel.

Marni Heller

Director of Admissions
Connecticut, New York,


Marni Heller grew up in Rockland County, New York and graduated from Frisch High School in Paramus, New Jersey. She received a BA in Communications with minors in Business and Judaic Studies from the State University of New York at Albany. After a long and successful career as the owner of a clothing sales business in New York, Marni became involved in Jewish camp experiences, serving as a Division Head with Ramah Day Camp in Nyack, New York for seven years, as well as working with Ramah during the off-season in the areas of camper and staff recruitment, programming, special event planning, fundraising and development. Most recently, Marni served as Director of Recruitment and Outreach for NJY Camps. Marni has also taught Hebrew School at Beth El Synagogue Center in New Rochelle, New York and served as Special Event Consultant for the Westchester Chapter of the American Jewish Committee (AJC).

In addition to her Jewish-related endeavors, Marni has always been passionate about fitness and nutrition. She holds a Certificate in Fitness and Nutrition from New York University’s School of Continuing Education and has been certified as a Personal Trainer, Spinning Instructor, Kickboxing Instructor and Children’s Yoga Instructor.

Israel Studies Educators

Jacob Leibowitz

Israel Studies Instructor

Jacob grew up in the German colony in Jerusalem after his family made Aliyah from New York at five years old.

Jacob fell in love with the world of education as a teenager while working at a sports camp in Jerusalem.

Since then he spent multiple summers working as a camp counselor in the USA, and also three years as a girls basketball coach in Israel.

Jacob first started working at AMHSI as a madrich immediately after his release from the IDF in 2013, and he always knew that he wanted to come back as a teacher.

Jacob is a licensed tour guide through Beit Berl college, where he is also completing his  degree in Education.

Jacob believes in teaching young students how to ask questions and think, with the hope of inspiring students to explore their Jewish identity and strengthen their connection with Israel.


Reuven Spero

Israel Studies Educator

Reuven earned his BA in Linguistics, holds graduate degrees in International Law and Education, and has studied at Hebrew Union College and the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. Before joining the staff at AMHSI, Reuven was the Director of Jewish Education in Columbus, Ohio, and worked at Hebrew University and the College of Judea and Samaria in Ariel.

Akiva Gersh

Israel Studies Educator

Akiva grew up in New York. He received a BA from Brown University, Providence, RI in Environmental Studies and Religious Studies. He completed coursework for an MA at the Azrieli Graduate School for Jewish Education. After studying in several Yeshivot in the USA and Tzfat, Akiva was ordained a rabbi.

Akiva has a rich background in both formal and informal education. For several years, Akiva directed “The Tiyul”, a program of the 92nd St Y in New York. Tiyul is a pluralistic traveling community service program for Jewish high school students. It visits small Jewish communities along the east coast of the US, volunteering at a wide range of agencies and places both in the Jewish and non-Jewish communities there.

Akiva also taught in Hebrew Schools and day schools and led workshops for CAJE (Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education) on Jewish Environmental Ethics.

Akiva published the 2000 Environmental pamphlet, L’avdah U’ L’Shamra, a pamphlet on the Jewish obligation to protect the environment. For several years, Akiva has served as a scholar in residence for AMHSI Shabbatonim and conducted workshops on Jewish music and spirituality.

Elhanan Brown

Israel Studies Educator

Elhanan Brown made aliya with his family at the age of 6. He grew up in Jerusalem in the fun-loving neighborhood of French Hill. Elhanan spent his summers at Ramah Poconos as a camper and on staff. In 2003, Elhanan came to work for AMHSI as a madrich.  While completing his degree in Informal Education, Israel Studies and the Tour Guiding course at Beit Berl College, he returned to AMHSI and has been teaching here since 2007.

Yossi Katz

Israel Studies Educator

Yossi Katz was born in 1956 in Philadelphia. As a teenager, Yossi was active in United Synagogue Youth (USY) and served as Regional President. He also spent over 15 years at Camp Ramah in the Poconos as a camper, counselor and Division Head. Yossi made aliyah to Israel in 1978 and served in the Israel Defense Forces as a combat soldier in a Reconnaissance Unit. Yossi Katz joined AMHSI in 1980 and is the author of the book: A VOICE CALLED – STORIES OF JEWISH HEROISM.

Danny Stein

Israel Studies Educator

Danny Stein grew up in Philadelphia, PA and attended the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy (formerly Akiba Hebrew Academy) for middle and high school. In 11th grade, he came to AMHSI with his class for 4 months. It was then that Danny’s tenure with AMHSI began.

After graduating from the University of Maryland with a BA in History and a BA in Psychology and spending time in different corners of the world, Danny returned to Israel as a counselor (madrich) at AMHSI. It was then that he met his wife, Chana, who was his co-counselor. After a year at Yeshivat Hamivtar in Efrat, Danny came back to AMHSI in 2008 a third time – as an educator.  Danny and Chana lived on campus where Danny was also the Director of Dormitory Life and Spirituality.  Today, they live in Moshav Mevo Modiim and are proud parents to Adva, Neve Chaim and a new baby girl.

Doni Kandel

Israel Studies Educator

Doni Kandel was born and raised in Los Angeles. After high school, he came to Israel for a year and a half of yeshiva and decided to stay for good. He spent many years in informal education, as a participant, and later, West Coast Director, of the Zionist youth group Bnei Akiva. He was also a camper, counselor and Assistant Director of Camp Moshava Wild Rose in Wisconsin. He holds a BA in Political Science and Military Strategy from Bar Ilan University and an MA in Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security from IDC Herzliya. He has worked as a journalist for both Israeli and American publications, and, after a brief stint in the high-tech scene, found his passion for teaching, as a general studies teacher at AMHSI. He taught History, English Literature, Sociology and Psychology. In 2016 he was added to the Israel Studies staff and is thrilled to share his passion for the people and the land of Israel with his students.

He currently lives in Mazkeret Batya with his wife and daughter.

Gavriel Porten

Israel Studies Educator

Gavriel has been pursuing his passion, educating adults and youth about Judaism and Israel, for over 20 years, both as a guide in the field and senior educator in the classroom.

Born in the US, having made Aliyah with his parents, Gavriel grew up in Jerusalem, while spending his summers at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin. He attended the Har-Etzion Hesder yeshiva for six years, combining Jewish learning with army duty. He earned his BA in Psychology and Jewish History at Hebrew University, and his law degree from Bar Ilan University.

Gavriel’s diverse cultural and religious background brings to the table a rich and deep picture of the beautiful land of Israel. He has guided youth and adults, families and communities, educators and academics of various denominations and faiths, and is always looking forward to encountering new and different worlds from his own.

Maor Perry

Israel Studies Educator

Maor Perry was born and raised in Eley-Sinai, a Jewish settlement in the north of the Gaza Strip that was evacuated in August 2005 as part of the disengagement plan.   He was raised in an Israeli Modern Orthodox family. In the military, he served in the Navy as patrol boat commander and still serves in the reserve. Maor holds a B.Ed. from Beit Berl College and majored in Israel Studies and Social Science.  He is also a certified tour guide through Beit Berl.  Maor started working with AMHSI in 2008 as a counselor and today, is an educator at the school.

Miriam Tekuzener

Israel Studies Educator

Miriam Tekuzener, born in Jerusalem to American parents, is fluent in both English and Hebrew and has a BA in Archaeology, Informal Education and is currently studying her MA in Jewish Education at Hebrew University. Miriam has worked as a tour guide for the last 10 years with students on Israel programs such as Birthright and Meor, camps such as Yavneh and NSCY and has guided day schools from both the United States and Australia. Miriam loves guiding groups of all ages and nationalities.

Aubrey Isaacs

Israel Studies Educator

Born and bred in bonny Scotland, Aubrey made aliya as soon as he finished high school. He studied in yeshivot in Jerusalem and in Gush Etzion, served in the tank corps of the IDF, received a BA in Jewish History and at Bar Ilan University, rabbinical qualifications and an MA in Jewish Thought from Ben-Gurion University in Be’er Sheva.

Aubrey served as Director of Jewish Education in Glasgow, Scotland and then for 11 years as Rabbi and then, Director of the WUJS Institute in Arad. Aubrey joined AMHSI as an educator in 2004 and in 2011 became director of the school’s new Negev Campus at Eshel HaNassi. Aubrey has a special love for the desert and lives in the northern Negev town of Arad.

Lisa Biton

Israel Studies Educator

Lisa Biton was born and raised in Northern California.  She holds a BA in Classical Studies and European History from Santa Clara University and a MAT from USC.  Lisa studied abroad at Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva in 2005 and fell in love with the land of Israel- and her Israeli husband.  She made aliyah in 2009 to the southern city of Kiryat Gat. Lisa has worked for AMHSI since 2010, as both a general studies teacher and an Israel Studies teacher, and at both the Hod Hasharon campus and Eshel Hanasi Campus.  Lisa and her husband have three children, and they love living in the Negev.

Benjy Behrman

Israel Studies Educator

Benjy grew up in Sunderland in the North East of England and was a dedicated member of Bnei Akiva. After graduating from school he spent two years studying in Yeshiva in Israel, he returned to England and completed a BA in archaeology and MA in Jewish history. During this time he served as National Director of Bnei Akiva UK.

Benjy made Aliyah with his wife in 2005 and since then has been working as an educator on various programs including the Machon L’Madrichei Chutz Laaretz, Rammah Israel and Young Judaea Year Course. He is also an educator at Yad Vashem.

Benjy lives with his wife, Emma, and three children Noa, Adi and Nadav in Modi’in.

Adi Paul Hakim

Israel Studies Educator

Adi has been living in Israel for over 25 years, guiding for 15 years and teaching as an Israel Studies Instructor at AMHSI since 2009. Adi was born in Sydney, Australia. Adi credits his parents for instilling within him a love for Israel and a pride of our Jewish heritage. Adi was an active member and leader of the Betar youth movement. Adi has a Bachelor of Science with a major in Zoology and a minor in Genetics. He is currently finalizing his Master’s degree in Marine Archaeology at Haifa University. Adi was awarded Sergeant Major when he served in the Nachal paratroopers of the Israeli Defense Forces. Following the army, Adi established a state of the art health club by the name of Great Shape. Adi has completed The Ministry of Tourism Israel Tour Guide Course with the Society of Protection of Nature of Israel. Adi is a 6th Dan Black Belt in Shotokan Karate and has represented both Australia and Israel in many international competitions. Adi lives in Raanana, Israel with his wife, two children and dog.


Alex Lasky

Director of Enrollment and Admissions

Originally from south Florida, Alex decided to move to Tel Aviv in 2012 to complete her M.A. degree in Middle East Studies at Tel Aviv University after her initial visit to Israel on a Birthright trip in 2008. The desire to move back to Israel was consistent since the trip and was working with Birthright before moving over. Once her B.A. degree was completed in International Relations at Florida International University, she hopped on a plane to Israel.

Alex was working for Masa in Miami during her time studying for her B.A. and continued to advocate for Americans to study abroad in Israel during college and for internships. In 2014, she made Aliyah and found her passion teaching students in a variety of subjects including math and biology. She is excited to see students excel in their studies at AMHSI and continue to make friendships through the common bond of an Israel experience.

Tess Sevelow-Lee

Director of Alumni

Tess was born and raised in Chicago, IL and graduated with a BSW with a minor in Sociology from Illinois State University. She moved to Israel five years ago, and recently completed training in Equine Assisted Therapy from the Therapeutic Riding Center of Israel.

Tess previously worked at The Israel Experience LTD as a Community Director and Internship Coordinator.

Tess and her husband live on a moshav with their three-legged dog and three cats.

Ayela Meroody

Executive Assistant & Human Resources

Ayela Meroody was born in Israel and grew up in Australia.  Ayela returned to Israel in her teenage years and served in the Israeli Air Force.  Ayela completed a BA in Government at the IDC, Herzliya and is an Alumna of the Argov Fellows Program in Leadership and Diplomacy.  Upon completing her studies, Ayela worked for the Argov program as its Program Manager.  She has also worked in different administrative positions in the hi-tech and medical device industries.  Ayela lives in Hod Hasharon with her husband, Oren and two children, Zoe and Kai.

Tamar Yehiam

Executive Assistant

Tamar joined AMHSI in November 2016. She was born in Israel and grew up in Rockville, Maryland, attending the AMHSI program as a teenager.  She moved back to Israel in the summer of 2016 and lives in Kfar Yona with her husband and four kids.

Naama Gilboa

Director of Informal Education

Naama was raised in a town called Shoham in the Center of Israel and also lived in Germany for 5 years. Growing up, Naama was active in the Israeli Scouts Movement, and later filled positions such as Head of Logistics and Head of the Shoham branch of the movement.  Naama served as a commander in the Air Force in the IDF. Naama holds a degree in Management and Engineering with honors from Rupin College. Naama was a madricha at AMHSI for 7 years. Today, as Director of Informal Education, Naama is responsible for recruiting, mentoring and supervising the Madrichim. Naama lives on the AMHSI campus with her dog Johnny.

Ilanit Yurman


Ilanit Yurman has been working at AMHSI since 2002.  She is originally from Rosh HaAyin.  Ilanit has previously worked as a bookkeeper at other companies.  She presently lives in Rosh HaAyin with her twin boys.

Shelly Hanan

Logistics Coordinator

Born in Israel, as a young girl Shelly was very active in the HaNoar HaOved youth movement (The Federation of Working and Studying Youth). Shelly has strong ties to AMHSI as she attended Mosenson High School in Hod HaSharon (the sister school which co-shares AMHSI’s campus), where she met her husband-to-be. After studying commerce in Tel Aviv, Shelly joined the AMHSI staff in 1994. As Logistics Coordinator, Shelly oversees the day-to-day responsibilities of organizing every aspect of the students’ excursions around the country.

Today, Shelly lives in Hod HaSharon with her husband, Yossi, and three children, Shirel, Gal and Yuval.

Dafna Eisenberg

Logistics Coordinator

Dafna has been working at AMHSI since 2011 as a logistics coordinator.

She was born in Israel and grew up in the nearby city of Herzeliya.   During the army, Dafna served in the Air Force and then studied at the Open University.  Before joining AMHSI, Dafna worked at Rimon Tours – a tourism company.

Dafna currently lives in Kfar Saba with her husband and two boys.

Menashe Mor

Head of Maintenance

Born in Hod HaSharon, Israel, as a youngster Menashe was very active in the HaNoar HaOved youth movement (The Federation of Working and Studying Youth). After completing his army service, Menashe worked for many years in building and construction. He joined AMHSI in 1993. As Maintenance Manager, Menashe oversees the day-to-day responsibilities of maintaining the school. He lives in Hod HaSharon with his wife, and is the proud father of three and grandfather of two.


Brian Frank

General Studies Teacher


Brian Frank holds a BSc in Math and Physics from the University of Witswatersrand in South Africa and a BEd from University of South Africa.

He enjoyed many years as science and mathematics teacher and Deputy Headmaster at Northcliff High School in Johannesburg, South Africa.   He spent some time as manager of South African Expo for Young Scientists, the national science fair.   As headmaster of Yeshiva College in Johannesburg, he participated in a number of courses in Israel, and decided to make aliyah.

Teaching at the Alexander Muss High School in Israel enables him to continue to help young people develop their mathematical and scientific talents.

Esther Fellman

General Studies Teacher


Esther Fellman holds a BA in Political Science from Hillside College.

Esther came to Israel in June 1983 from Guatemala, along with her husband and at the time, three children.  She now has five children and eight grandchildren.  In Guatemala, Esther taught English and Jewish Studies at the local Jewish day school, and English and Social Studies at The American School and at a secretarial school.

Esther believes that teaching at Alexander Muss High School has been a very fulfilling job.   It not only touches the students’ heart and mind with Judaism and Zionism, it also makes them commit themselves to those ideals as well and they become involved in their communities and in Israel for life.

Dr. Michael Shterenshis

General Studies Teacher
Chemistry, Biology


Dr. Michael Shterenshis holds an MD from Tashkent State Biomedical University.  He specialized in the History of the Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania and in the History of the Sciences at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Michael has lectured at the Midreshet Yerushalaim University and worked at the Uzbekistan Embassy. He has taught all levels of biology, anatomy and physiology, forensics, environmental sciences, and chemistry up to AP.  Michael also teaches various historical subjects.

In 2003, Michael occupied the position of Editor-in-Chief of the Isradon Publ., Ltd. He is the author of 22 books.

Shlomo Sudai

General Studies Teacher


Shlomo Sudai studied Applied Mathematics at Tel Aviv University.  He has been teaching mathematics at all levels, with a focus on Calculus AB and BC, for the past 28 years.   Shlomon has also taught math in Hebrew in the Israeli public school system.

Ingrid Messika

General Studies Teacher


Ingrid Messika holds a BSc in Chemistry and Life Sciences from the University of Witswatersrand in South Africa and a diploma in Chemistry from Tel Aviv University. She also holds a teacher certification in Chemistry and Biology.

Ingrid taught Biology, AP Biology, Chemistry and Computer Sciences for 27 years at the American International School in Israel. In addition, she has trained teachers in the use of the internet in science through the Open University of Israel.

Over 40 years ago, Ingrid made aliyah from South Africa and is married with four children.

Dr Yeshayahu Ya’akovi

General Studies Teacher

Dr. Yeshayahu Ya’akovi holds an MSc and PhD in Radiation Chemistry and Radiation Biology from the University of Manchester in the UK, as well as a BA in Pharmacy.  

Yeshayahu serves as a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry in drug development and also lectures both in Israel and abroad in pharmaceutical industry forums.  He has published more than seventy scientific publications and serves on a number of government committees.  

Yeshayahu made aliyah in 1974 with his wife and they now have four children and live in Jerusalem.  He is a captain (retired) inthe Medical Corps of the Israel Defense Forces.

Jacob Scharf

General Studies Teacher


Jacob Scharf holds a MA, and PhD in Electrical Engineering.   He has served as a Special Lecturer in Electrical Engineering and Teaching Fellow at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, New Jersey where he taught courses in math, science, and engineering.

In Israel, Jacob has taught math and science at the high school level and in the Israeli army.  Jacob has also worked as a professional and development engineer at hi tech companies.

He enjoys spending time with his grandchildren.

Jeanne Lumbroso

General Studies Teacher


Jeanne Lumbroso holds a BA in English Literature from the Sorbonne in Paris.

Dalia Ben Ari

General Studies Teacher


Dalia Ben Ari holds a BEd and Teacher’s License from Beit Berl College in Israel.  She has over thirty years of experience in teaching Hebrew Language.

Giselle Gross

General Studies Teacher
French, Spanish


Giselle Gross holds a BA in Political Science from the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico.

Ronit Koblenz

General Studies Teacher


Ronit Koblenz holds a BEd from the American Jewish University and a BEd from the Seminar Kibbutzim.

Monica Krebs

General Studies Teacher
Spanish, Psychology

Monica Krebs holds a BA in Social Work from Tel Aviv University.  Monica received her MA in Translation from the University of Buenos Aires and her MSc from Bolton University in Critical Psychology.

Helen Wu

General Studies Teacher


Helen Wu holds a BA ffrom Sichuan Union University and a Teaching Certificate in French Language from Bar Ilan University in Israel.

Ronit Ofir

General Studies Teacher
Lab Director, Chemistry & Biology


Ronit Ofir holds a BSc in Chemistry from Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Dr. Debby Mir

General Studies Teacher

Dr. Debby Mir is an environmentalist and life-time learner teaching biology, chemistry and environmental studies at AMHSI, while completing a Bachelor of Science in Education (B.Sc.Ed) at the Technion.  She was a professor in Environmental Studies before moving to Israel, and currently works as an adjunct professor at several Israeli academic institutions, supervises theses and engages in research with academic and government partners.

Lauren Ziv

General Studies Teacher
History, Latin


Lauren Ziv holds a BA in History with Social Studies Certification and a MA in Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

Ryan Higgins

General Studies Teacher

Ryan comes from a family of teachers: he loves teaching and helping people grow in their knowledge and identity.    Ryan has a rich and varied background in education and youth leadership.  He finished his MA in History and Philosophy at Concordia University in Montreal in 2008 and finished his training in university teaching, during which he worked as a TA in the university and a replacement teacher in Dawson College.   In 2010 he moved to Israel and began working as an English teacher in Branco Weiss High School and also worked in adult learning centers in the evenings.  Ryan started teaching history at AMHSI in 2014 and enjoys making history relevant for today’s generation.

Yaffa Kass

General Studies Teacher


Yaffa Kass holds a BEd from David Yellin Teachers Seminar in Jerusalem.

Tasha Elliston

General Studies Teacher



Pia Schalimtzek

General Studies Teacher


Pia Schalimtzek holds a BA in English and a BA in Latin from Teacher Training College at the Jonstrup Seminar in Denmark.

Pia teaches at the international American School in Even Yehuda.  She also teaches Danish at a school for Nordic languages in Tel Aviv.

Pia made aliyah from Denmark and is the happy grandmother of seven grandchildren!


Rina Friedman

General Studies Teacher


Rina Friedman holds a BA in Social Science.

She has previously lived in Atlanta, GA and taught Hebrew at a local Jewish day school.  She is also teaches Hebrew at the International Ulpan in Netanya, Israel.


Monica Singer

General Studies Teacher
Math, German


Monica Singer holds a MA in Mathematics from the University of Bucharest in Romania.

Monica has taught Mathematics ta the German School in Bucharest.  She was also an assistant teacher for special mathematics at the Polytechnical Institute of Bucharest and a teacher at Israeli high schools, largely in the Herzliya area.

Monica has collaborated in the compilation of several excercise books in elementary Geometry, Algebra and Trigonometry.

Monica is a native Romanian speaker and speaks English, German, French and Hebrew fluently.  She is married with three children.

Dr. Glenda Sacks

General Studies Teacher (On Sabbatical)
English, History of Art


Dr. Glenda Sacks holds a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Witswatersrand in South Africa and a MA in Fine Arts from the University of South Africa.  She also holds a MA in English Literature from Bar Ilan University in Israel.

Naomi Strom Deri

General Studies Teacher

Naomi Strom Deri holds a BA in Fine Arts from Brooklyn College and a BS in English Education from New York University.  She also holds a MA as a High School English Teacher from Brooklyn College.

Naomi taught high school English in New York City prior to moving to Israel.  In Israel, Naomi became licensed to teach English in the public school system and worked as an English teacher for advanced and native English speakers in Israel.

Naomi was born and raised in San Francisco and made Aliyah in 2008.  She lives in Herzliya with her husband and son.

Noa Cooper

General Studies Teacher
History, English

Noa Cooper holds a BA in the Humanities and an MA in Modern Jewish History from Touro College.

Hepzibah Alon

General Studies Teacher
English, History

Hepzibah Alon received her Masters degree in English literature from Bar Ilan University and her Bachelors degree in English Literature and Linguistics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has been a teacher for 14 years, having taught middle school, high school and college classes. She loves to learn and to teach and finds joy in creating a student centered environment that encourages critical thinking skills. Along with teaching at the Alexander Muss High School in Israel, she is also a Program Associate for Facing History and Ourselves where she mentors teachers, and provides professional development for Jewish Day Schools in the United States.  She grounds her classroom  in the idea that academic rigor goes hand in hand with ethical reflection and emotional engagement in a safe classroom environment.

Michele Annis

General Studies

Michele Annis is from Manchester  in the north of the United Kingdom. She has a degree in English Language and Literature from Leeds university followed by a Teaching certificate. She also holds LAMDA qualifications as a Drama teacher. Before making Aliyah, Michele taught in Lubavitch Girls School in Mancheste. Michele lives in the neighboring city of Raanana with her husband and two daughters. She has an elder son still living in the UK. In her spare time Michele enjoys going to the Theatre and finds plenty of interesting productions to see in Tel Aviv!

Gary Herman

General Studies Teacher
Mathematics and Chemistry

Born in Australia Gary taught mathematics before moving to Israel in 1979.  In Israel he lived on kibbutz, served in the army and later completed an MSc at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in Quantum Chemistry and a PhD in Space Physics at the Tel-Aviv University. Gary later studied at JPL (Jet Propulsion Labs), NASA, California working on the comet Halley rendezvous mission.

Over the years Gary worked in a number of Hi-Tec companies including LUZ (solar energy) and NDS an early Israeli start-up which provided encryption services for broadband and broadcast content.  Gary also worked in the fields of oceanography writing papers on computational circulation models for lake Kinneret as well as at the Israel Aerospace Industries where he was a senior engineer working on mission control algorithms for both military and commercial satellites.


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Board of governors

Leadership Position Committee
Ronald Lauder Board of Governors Co-Chair
Stephen Muss Board of Governors Co-Chair
Joseph Wolfson Board of Directors President/Chair
Robert Levine Board of Directors Treasurer Budget and Finance
Jeffrey Davis Board of Directors Chair Marketing
Ronald Werner Board of Directors Co-Chair Marketing
Stanley Chesley Board of Directors Co-Chair Education
Robert Werner Board of Directors Secretary Audit
David Frank Board of Directors Co-Chair Scholarship
Andrew Klein Board of Directors Co-Chair Scholarship
Bruce Gould Board of Directors Chair Development
Joel Reinstein Board of Directors Co-Chair Alumni
Jill Janowski Board of Directors Co-Chair Recruitment
Elliot Norry Board of Directors Co-Chair Strategic Planning
Benjamin Gordon Board of Directors Co-Chair Strategic Planning
Joey Blumenfeld Board of Directors Member
Jerry Sokol Board of Directors Member

Privacy policy

Alexander Muss High School in Israel has created this Privacy Policy to explain why we collect particular information and how we will protect your personal privacy within our Web site. The following discloses our information gathering and dissemination practices for the Web site located at the URL www.amhsi.org.

In order to fully understand your rights we encourage you to read this Privacy Policy as well as our Terms of Use. AMHSI and Jewish National Fund reserve the right at any time and without notice to change this Privacy Policy simply by posting such changes on our Site. Any such change will be effective immediately upon posting.


1. Because we want to demonstrate our commitment to your privacy, this Privacy Policy notifies you of; 2. What personally identifiable information of yours is collected through the Site; 3. Who collects such information; 4. How such information is used; 5. With whom your information may be shared; 6. What choices you have regarding collection, use and distribution of your information; 7. What kind of security procedures are in place to protect the loss, misuse or alteration of information under our control; 8. How you can correct any inaccuracies in your information.

Questions regarding this statement should be directed to Jewish National Fund by sending an e-mail to ambassador@amhsi.org. Please reference this Privacy Policy in your subject line.

What Information We Collect and How We Use That Information:

Our registration forms require users to give us contact information that may include name, e-mail address, format preference (HTML vs. Text), address, interests, medical, academic and similar information. We do not request or store sensitive information from our visitors, such as credit card or social security numbers.

Internet Protocol Address:

We collect an IP address from all visitors to our Site. An IP address is a number that is automatically assigned to your computer when you use the Internet. We use IP addresses to help diagnose problems with our server, administer our Site, analyze trends, track users’ movement, gather broad demographic information for aggregate use in order for us to improve the site, and deliver customized, personalized content. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Use of “Cookies”:

Our Site may use cookies to enhance your experience while using our Site. Cookies are pieces of information that some Web sites transfer to the computer that is browsing that Web site and are used for record-keeping purposes at many Web sites. Use of cookies makes Web-surfing easier by performing certain functions such as saving your passwords, your personal preferences regarding your use of the particular Web site and to make sure you don’t see the same ad repeatedly. Many consider the use of cookies to be an industry standard. Your browser is probably set to accept cookies. However, if you would prefer not to receive cookies, you can alter the configuration of your browser to refuse cookies. If you choose to have your browser refuse cookies, it is possible that some areas of our Site will not function properly when you view them.


All information provided to AMHSI is transmitted using SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption. SSL is a proven coding system that lets your browser automatically encrypt, or scramble, data before you send it to us. We also protect account information by placing it on a secure portion of our Site that is only accessible by certain qualified employees of AMHSI and Jewish National Fund. Unfortunately, however, no data transmission over the Internet is 100% secure. While we strive to protect your information, we cannot ensure or warrant the security of such information.

Ambassador Program:

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our Site, we ask them for the friend’s name and e-mail address. AMHSI will automatically send the friend a one-time e-mail inviting them to visit the Site. AMHSI store this information for the sole purpose of sending this one-time e-mail.

Other Web Sites:

Our Site contains links to other Web sites. Please note that when you click on one of these links, you are entering another Web site for which AMHSI or Jewish National Fund has no responsibility. We encourage you to read the privacy statements on all such sites as their policies may be different than ours.

Contacting the Web Site:

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the practices of this Site, or your dealings with this Site, you can contact 212.472.9300. You can also send an e-mail to: ambassador@amhsi.org






AMHSI at a Glance

  • Main campus in Hod HaSharon, not far from Tel Aviv
  • 8-week and 18-week academic year and 6-week summer programs (plus Poland trips!)
  • Experiential learning: encounter history where it actually happened
  • Balance of academic and fun, cultural and bonding activities

Why Choose Us

  • Most loved and recommended Israel-based study abroad program
  • International students coming from the US, Canada, Australia, Panama, Austria, Turkey and more!
  • A variety of programs to choose from ranging in duration, dates and other options
  • Ability to earn college credit from the University of Miami
  • College-style campus as a base for learning and travel across Israel