Blog  School’s Out For Summer

School’s Out For Summer

On June 1, the Spring 2018 semester of Heller High came to a close. The students have returned, and the final transcripts have been sent; summer is here and school is out!

So what does the Heller High staff do now?

When summer arrives, our staff hit the road. They are hard at work to recruit the next classes of outstanding students. They will make over 30 camp visits this season, speaking to thousands of teens about the incredible opportunity of a high school semester in Israel.

Principal Loren Sykes with alumni at OSRUI

Camp visits are also a great time for our staff to reconnect with Heller High/EIE alumni. Nearly every single one of the URJ’s 17 camps has at least one alum on staff, with some camps having nearly 20.

Our alumni can be found in every part of camp–they are campers, CITs, counselors, unit heads, specialists, and leadership team members. They lend their experience to a multitude of areas at camp, from cabin programs to leading services, and even helping out with “Israel Day.” Our staff love to see them shine in their various camp roles as they make the rounds.

This summer, many campers will learn about Heller High for the first time. They may hear from an alum on camp, a faculty member, or from a staff visit. Some of those campers will become our future students, and will one day remember the moment they first heard about the program that changed their lives.

Just a few weeks ago, we finished the phenomenal Spring 2018 semester. With 76 students it was our largest semester in years, and included teens from more than 20 states, and nearly 50 different URJ Congregations. Many of those Spring 2018 students returned home, unpacked, and then packed again right away to get ready for camp. By the end of the summer, some of them will have spent over six consecutive months on a URJ Youth program, immersed in the incredible communities that they helped to create.


Did you catch the Spring 2018 highlights video yet? Four months of learning, adventure, community, and growth–in just four minutes!


Since 1961, thousands of teenagers have spent a semester in Israel on URJ Heller High (formerly NFTY-EIE), the Reform Movement’s most intense and powerful Jewish living and learning experience. We are currently  accepting applications for Fall 2018 and Spring 2019.