Blog  31 Teens Arrive in Israel as the 2016 Fall Semester Begins

31 Teens Arrive in Israel as the 2016 Fall Semester Begins

I am thrilled to share that the Fall 2016 semester of the NFTY-EIE High School in Israel commenced this week.

The students have met with their staff and teachers and are settling into Kibbutz Tzuba, their home for the next four months in the Judean Hills near Jerusalem, all under the inspired supervision of our EIE Principal, Rabbi Loren Sykes, and his exceptional team.

31 outstanding young people will have a challenging and rewarding semester living and learning in Israel. They will immerse themselves in Jewish history and culture, spend time learning and speaking Hebrew, and grow their independence and personal Jewish identity. They will form a tight community and develop friendships for a lifetime. They will develop deep connections to Israel and the Jewish people while engaging with Reform/Progressive Judaism in Israel.

As a program accredited by the Middle States Academic Association, EIE ensures that our students excel in Hebrew and Jewish Studies, but also all the classes required by their high schools back home. Our students will also rigorously study for standardized tests, so they can be prepared for the next steps in their lives.

These 31 students come from 13 states plus Australia. They include:

  • Six from New York, five from New Jersey, five from California, three from Illinois, two from Virginia, two from Massachusetts, one from Maryland, Idaho, Kentucky, Missouri, Connecticut, Maryland, Kansas, Texas and one from Australia.
  • 23 kids attend NFTY events
  • 20 are alumni of URJ camps, including four from Camp Harlam, four from Eisner camp, three from URJ Myron S. Goldman Union Camp-Institute, three from URJ Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute, two from Camp Newman and Kutz camp, one from Camp Kalsman, Crane Lake, Greene Family and 6 Points Sports Academy in North Carolina.
  • 28 URJ congregations from across North America have a student on EIE.

EIE is on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and our blog is regularly updated. Here you can see pictures about what our students will accomplish during their months in Israel and read words about their amazing experience.

Since 1961, thousands of teenagers have spent a semester in Israel on NFTY-EIE, the Reform Movement’s most intense and powerful Jewish living and learning experience. EIE is currently accepting applications for the Spring 2017 session. We are thrilled to already have 48 students registered, and we look forward to seeing dozens more.

Know of a teenager in grades 10-12 who is interested in NFTY-EIE? Please contact Elise Englander, EIE’s Marketing and Communications Coordinator at or 212-650-4095. She will help answer any questions you have about the program. Please also share EIE with your friends, family, and clergy and staff at your synagogue.

With warm best wishes and lots of gratitude,
Paul Reichenbach