URJ HELLER HIGH

Isaac and Helaine Heller EIE High School in Israel

Our Mission

To Inspire in our students, the future leaders and members of Reform Judaism, a commitment to and deep love of North American Judaism, the Jewish People and the State of Israel.

Our Vision

URJ Heller High achieves this mission by elevating and deepening our students’ knowledge of and connection to Jewish history, Judaism, Zionism and the modern State of Israel. With Israel as our classroom, we build a dynamic learning environment where formal instruction, experiential learning and travel combine to bring Jewish living and learning to life. Our skilled and engaging teachers create an inclusive community that fosters the development of future lay and professional leaders for Reform Judaism.

With over 3,500 alumni since its founding in 1961, URJ Heller High (formerly NFTY-EIE) is the most experienced and most trusted high school in Israel program for meaningful Jewish learning, spiritual experiences, personal growth, and academic success.

Program Overview

Academics

  • Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools for over twenty years
  • SAT, PSAT, and AP testing site. Students are taken to Jerusalem for the ACT.
  • A wide array of courses are offered including Honors and AP. Heller High is capable of teaching most courses requested.
  • College counseling by highly qualified staff with proven results
  • Heller High staff works closely with home schools to plan a special curriculum that suits each participant’s academic schedule of required courses
  • Teachers remain on campus in the evenings to tutor and help students
  • Seminars on writing, note taking, study skills, and time management are offered
  • 2 semesters of high school language credits for Hebrew (Honors)
    • Unique to Heller High – 100 academic hours of Hebrew bring students to conversational level
  • 3 semesters of high school social studies or elective credits for Israel Land, People, and Culture (Honors Level)
  • All of Israel becomes the classroom on 25 academic field trips providing a hands-on learning experience
  • Students may earn up to 15 college credits concurrently from Gratz College in Israel for Israel Land, People, and Culture (Honors level)
  • 2 semesters of PE (Physical Education) credit
  • Students earn 30 hours of Community Service

Field Trips

  • Travel to Eilat, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Golan Heights, & places in between, including Masada, Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea. Jerusalem is in our backyard!
  • Visit an Arab village and engage in a dialogue with an Imam
  • Sea to Sea hike from the Kinneret to the Mediterranean includes orienteering, mountain biking, rappelling
  • Northern Adventure includes kayaking, visiting Druze village for a cultural and culinary experience
  • Eilat trip includes Bedouin experience, camel riding, snorkeling, and desert hiking
  • Poland Pilgrimage includes Warsaw, Krakow, Lublin, Maidanek, Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps
  • Gadna – a simulated army experience for teens

Campus Life

  • Students live on a kibbutz, located right outside Jerusalem, in an organic Israeli environment
  • Excellent accommodations in the kibbutz hotel. Each suite is air-conditioned and has a private balcony
  • 100% kosher, high quality food with varied menus and sensitivity to students with special diets
  • Full-time MSW overseeing student life and social integration
  • 10 weekends during the semester open for visiting friends and family

Travel and Recreation

  • Parents’ Pilgrimage – Parents stay in the same kibbutz hotel as their children
  • Swimming pool, basketball and tennis courts available in season on the kibbutz
  • Special arrangements can be made for students to have private instruction in music, art, soccer, tennis, and even ice skating! Ask us, and we will do our best to help you progress in your sport or art.

Spiritual

  • Study Judaism: history, philosophy, traditions, Tanach and Talmud, and ideology of Reform Judaism
  • Jewish holidays and festivals are examined and celebrated from a liberal perspective
  • Meet with prominent Reform rabbis and community leaders
  • Liberal Jewish values
  • Celebrate Shabbat, holidays and special events in the Jewish calendar in a Reform liberal setting
  • Enjoy home hospitality with an Israeli family and celebrate major holidays
  • Tzedaka, social justice: Community service volunteer projects throughout the semester where students learn about the special Jewish approach to giving of themselves