About us

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

Since 1972 – 24,000 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 24,000 alumni over the past 43 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 though 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Hindie Fried

Director of Operations, North America

Directors of Admission

Jennifer Bricker

National Director of Admissions

Jen was born and raised on Long Island, New York.  After multiple opportunities to study abroad in high school and university, her passion is to facilitate intercultural learning opportunities for teens. She received a BA in International Affairs from the George Washington University in Washington, DC.  After college, she moved to Portland, Oregon and started a lifelong career in international education.

Most recently she was the Director of Program Operations for AFS-USA, working with thousands of US and international high school students each year applying to study abroad.

Currently, Jen lives in Brooklyn, New York.  When she is not working she volunteers with her neighborhood CSA (community supported agriculture) making fresh and local produce accessible and affordable in the city.


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.

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.

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!

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.

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!

Jenny Appelbaum

Director of Admissions, Los Angeles


Jenny Appelbaum joined JNF on May 2nd as the Director of Admissions for AMHSI in Southern California based out of the Van Nuys office.  While Jenny is the founder of a small matchmaking agency specializing in Jewish singles in Los Angeles, she decided to put her passion for Israel and being Jewish in action and is thrilled to be working with other dedicated individuals who share many of the same values and priorities. In her past she worked at other non-profits in Los Angeles and New York, had a brief stint at a technology company, and for the past 5 years has hosted private educational, philanthropic and social events for young Jewish professionals and singles (often in partnership with Jewish agencies). Jenny’s incredible American and Moroccan-Israeli family live in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Israel, and she has visited and lived in Israel over 16 times including 6 months interning at a record label in Tel Aviv and time at seminaries learning Torah with incredible teachers. She is thrilled to be a part of the Muss family. In her free time, you can find Jenny at a local foodie event, biking in Santa Monica, cuddling with her two adorable kittens, hosting a Shabbat dinner or get-together, or spending time with her boyfriend, family and best friends.

Audrey Lewis

Israel Programs Admissions Director
Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah


Audrey Lewis joined JNF as the Israel Programs Admissions Director for the Desert States region.

She graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Marketing/Psychology and a minor in Hebrew.

After graduating, she worked for BBYO as the Assistant Regional Director in Miami and has worked for various synagogues and Religious School programs around the country. After working as a college counselor at Jess Schwartz College Prep, she continued with her own college consulting practice.

Her connection to Israel began after seeing the Tzofim (Israel Scouts) Caravan perform many years ago, and she and her husband now serve on the Board of the Arizona Tzofim.

As an alumna of Alexander Muss, she is excited to continue her work in education and recruitment.

Laurie Goldberg Orenstein

Israel Programs Admissions Director
Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin


Laurie joined AMHSI-JNF as the Israel Programs Admissions Director based out of the Chicago office.

She graduated Spertus College with an MS in Non-Profit Management and also holds a BS in Elementary Education from Bradley University.

Laurie has spent the last 18 plus years at the Jewish Community Centers of Chicago, most recently as the Director of Children and Family Engagement.  Her career has centered on the areas of children, education and community building with a special passion for teens since her early days as a Day Camp Director.

Laurie is a lifelong Chicago in who was born in the south suburban area and has been working her way north since graduating college.  She, her husband and son live in Glenview.  Laurie is thrilled to join the  AMHSI team and looks forward to continuing the work of bringing teens to Israel.

Rebekah Sedwin

Israel Programs Admissions Director
New Jersey


Rebekah is the Israel Programs Admissions Director for New Jersey.

Rebekah grew up in Scotch Plains, NJ and graduated with a BA in Sociology with a minor in Music from Rutgers University.  She recently received a certificate from Hebrew Union College, specializing in Jewish education for adolescents and emerging adults

For many years, Rebekah worked as a Hebrew and religious school teacher in the congregation she grew up in, and worked at the JCC day camp as a music specialist and Jewish and Israeli culture specialist. In high school, she studied in Israel for a semester, living on Kibbutz Tzuba just outside of Jerusalem.  Most recently, she was the Director of Youth Engagement at Temple Sholom in Scotch Plains, NJ.

Rebekah is an avid cook and baker; she loves watching football (Baltimore Ravens) and Yankees baseball. She loves to travel around the country and the world with her fiancé, and can’t wait for her wedding in September 2016.

Rebekah is thrilled to be a part of the AMHSI team and working with teens and their families to help them study in Israel!


Judy Levenson

Israel Programs Admissions Director, Cincinnati

I graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Elementary Education K-9 certification and an area of concentration in Art. After graduating, I worked in Des Moines Iowa for the Jewish Community as an educator for the Day School, Religious Schools, and Youth Director for USY and Kadima. (my husband was the youngest kosher butcher in Northern America) When my family and I moved to Cincinnati in 1990 I worked for the BJE as the Teacher Center Director, taught religious school and music at various synagogues in Cincinnati. I then became the Director of Education for Youth and Families for Adath Israel Synagogue for 9 years. I co-wrote and recorded a Jewish Educational CD to teach about Jewish holidays and traditions, and occasionally have had the opportunity to be an artist in residence.  When I retired from Education I began my career in Fund Development starting at the Jewish Federation and then working within various non for profits both Jewish and Secular.  My hobbies include high intensity work outs, singing, and painting. I am married to my high school sweetheart; we have one (man) child, and 2 standard poodles!

Arielle Levy

Arielle Levy currently lives in Austin working as the Israel Advocacy Young Leadership Development Director for Jewish National Fund, fundraising with young adults in Austin and Atlanta and recruiting for Alexander Muss High School in Israel all over Texas. Arielle was a long time camper at Camp Young Judaea and Tel Yehudah. She grew up in Waco and attended the University of Texas McCombs School of Business. Arielle volunteered with JNF before working for them and currently volunteers with the Federation, ADL, and an annual event for young adults called The Chosen Weekend, among a few other activities. She was an Alternative Winter Break participant in 2008 where they spent the week in Yerucham. Last year Arielle received the Hineni Award from the Austin Federation with her siblings as outstanding leaders in the community. She has led 4 Birthright trips and participated in the first cohort of the Taglit Fellows program. She attributes her strong Zionist identity to her many years at CYJ, memories of her Blue Box at Sunday School, and her family. For fun you’ll always find her surrounded by people and probably talking about Israel. Am yisrael chai!

Jacqueline Smolyar

Director of Admissions - Canada

Jacqueline Smolyar lives in Toronto, Ontario. Prior to working for AMHSI, Jacqueline was the Program Director for JNF Toronto. As the program director, Jacqueline had the opportunity to work within her community, particularly with young professionals, to support JNF Canada’s ongoing efforts to develop the land of Israel while providing leadership in the planning and coordination of JNF’s fundraising initiatives.

Jacqueline is a recent MBA graduate with a dual specialization in Social Sector Management and Organization Development. Besides her professional commitment to working within and supporting the development of the nonprofit sector, Jacqueline’s interests include any activity that she can do outdoors- she especially loves going on hikes with her 100 pound Bulldog/ Dutch Sheppard mix, Bella!

Jacqueline is thrilled to be joining the AMHSI team and to support Canadian High School students as they take on this adventure of a lifetime!

Israel Studies Educators

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 disgengagement 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.

Benjy Behrman

Israel Studies Educator

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.

Lisa Biton

Israel Studies Educator

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

Ayela Meroody

Executive Assistant

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.

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.

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.

Tess Sevelow-Lee

Israel Continuum Coordinator

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.

She and her husband live currently lives on a moshav with their three-legged dog and two cats.

Jordana Bickel Cohen

Director of Online Enrollment

Jordana Bickel Cohen was born and raised in New Jersey and made aliyah in 2011. Jordana previously served as the Recruitment and Registration Manager at the Israel Experience for their Jewish Agency summer programs and Masa long-term programs including Career Israel, Israel Teaching Fellows and Israel by Design. Prior to making aliyah, she was a participant on the WUJS Young Judea program in 2010 volunteering with Ethiopian youth.


Ryan Higgins

Maayan Brodsky

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.

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.

Tasha Elliston

General Studies Teacher



Dr. Terrance Mintner

General Studies Teacher
History, AP History


Terrance Mintner holds a PhD in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BA in International Relations from Edgewood College.  Aside from history, he holds graduate minors in Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies.

Terrance was awarded several grants to conduct his dissertation research in Venice, Italy.

Ronit Koblenz

General Studies Teacher


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

Pnina Cohen

General Studies Teacher


Pnina Cohen holds a BEd from Beit Berl College in Israel.

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.


Malka Yasmin

General Studies Teacher


Malka Yasmin holds a BEd from Beit Berl College in Israel.

Yaffa Kass

General Studies Teacher


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

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.

Batya Oron

General Studies Teacher


Batya Oron holds a BA in Bible Studies and Political Science and a Teacher’s License from the Universitiy of Haifa in Israel.


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.

Jeanne Lumbroso

General Studies Teacher


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

Giselle Gross

General Studies Teacher
French, Spanish


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

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!


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.

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.

Lauren Wood

General Studies Teacher
History, Latin


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

Rabbi Don Peterman

General Studies Teacher
History, Government, Sociology


Rabbi Don Peterman holds a BA in Psychology from the University of California and was ordained at Hebrew Union College.

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.

Ronit Ofir

General Studies Teacher
Lab Director, Chemistry & Biology


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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ron Erez

General Studies Teacher
Math, Statistics


Ron Erez holds a BA in Mathematics from Tel Aviv University and a BA in English Literature, also from Tel Aviv University.  He also received his MA and PhD in Mathematics from Tel Aviv University.

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.


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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