• 4 Ways a Semester in Israel Prepared My Daughter for Life

    By Susan Morrel, RJE This blog post originally appeared on ReformJudaism.org Just after Passover last year, my daughter, Shaina, a student at URJ Heller High at the time, returned from her home-stay with an Israeli family. Shaina described how she and the other teens stayed up late and talked about their plans after high school. The Israelis’ discussion of […]


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  • Echoes of Auschwitz: a Poem by Adrian Ellett

    Echoes of Auschwitz By Adrian Ellett, 11th grade, Weymouth, MA Desperately I search For something to connect the words to Some meaning to be gained Some answer “Work will set you free” They stand hollow And meaningless in their irony And hollow too stands this place itself You would think might throng with souls Those […]


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  • 15 Students and Parents Tell Us About the Fall Semester

    Being here on this program has been the best experience of my life, and the lessons I have learned here will be ones I carry with me throughout the rest of my life. I have learned independence, time management, self-advocacy, confidence, endurance, and more. The education I’ve received about Israel has made me feel even […]


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  • Two Ways to Teach the Holocaust

    By Jon Ramsay 11/20/18 This blog post is part of a featured series by writer Jon Ramsay, friend of URJ Heller High. This series was written during a ten-day trip alongside the students of the Fall 2018 semester.  There are two separate strategies to educate high school students on the complicated tragedy of the Holocaust. […]


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  • $1,000 Discount Announced for Fall 2019

    The Fall semester of this program presents a unique opportunity for students: they get to celebrate High Holidays and Hanukkah together; build a very close, tight-knit community; and experience the beauty of autumn in Israel as they hike, climb, swim and explore.


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  • Just Like Me: Meeting Israeli Students from Brenner High School

    Nobody said that moving halfway across the world for four months would be easy. During my first couple weeks at URJ Heller High, the new challenges that I faced forced me to mature and reach out of my comfort zone. Adapting to such a unique environment can be a difficult task for some, but the opportunities that the program provides make it easier for us to adjust to our new home. One of these opportunities was our trip to visit Israeli students at Brenner High School.


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  • Who Are the Students of Spring ’19?

    Yesterday, seventy-six North American high schoolers landed at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv to begin the Spring 2019 semester of URJ Heller High.


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  • 10 Fun Facts about the Spring 2019 Madrichim

    Spring 2019 departs in just a few days, and our staff in Israel are hard at work getting ready for the arrival of our newest students. Six of those staff are our wonderful  Madrichim (counselors)–Nitzan, Mili, and Omri. Our Heller High Madrichim play a crucial role in the success of a semester. They are the staff who interact the most with our students–planning programs, accompanying them on all trips, and serving as mentors and advisors to them during their four months in Israel.


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  • Jew is Right? (Part 2 of 2)

    After hearing from Rabbi Yehoshua, we met Rabbi Noa, a Reform rabbi who works at the Israel Religious Action Center, much like the RAC in Washington. She was born to a secular family who raised her with strong values based in social action. This led her to work her way to become the head of the Jerusalem Open House-LGBTQ+ Center. She also works to connect Jewish and Palestinian students in order to better relations.


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  • Jew Is Right? (Part One of Two)

    With the promise of breakfast in the Zula (student lounge) due to Israel's municipal election day, and Jewish History class in the Belmont lecture hall, we all got up excited and interested to see how class that day would go. As we all got seated in the Belmont (lobby of Tzuba Hotel), we discussed our expectations for the day.


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