The safety and security of URJ Heller High (formerly NFTY-EIE) students is our number one priority, and we thank parents for entrusting their children to our care. We look forward to providing a safe, challenging and enjoyable learning experience in Israel. Heller High has always been very cautious and conservative. The information is subject to change as security situations in Israel warrant. Parents will be updated by email throughout the semester regarding schedule changes and additional security precautions. Flexibility is required from students, parents, and staff, as schedule changes are inevitable. Infractions of the security procedures will be viewed most seriously. The staff at Kibbutz Tzuba and in the US are continually available to answer any questions that you may have.

  • Itineraries are reviewed on a daily basis to determine if the route and destination provide the highest level of safety. We are always prepared to make changes in our itinerary if need be
  • Our staff consults daily with the Security Department of the Jewish Agency for Israel, who are in constant contact with the government, police and military authorities
  • We do not travel through Palestinian controlled areas of the West Bank or in the Gaza Strip
  • Public transportation is never used; we use only our own Heller High chartered buses
  • An Israeli security guard travels with each group when required by the Situation Room
  • Our staff are reachable 24 hours a day in case of an emergency
  • All students and parents sign the B'rit Kehillah "Heller High Code of Conduct" expressing their willingness to abide by all rules, regulations, and safety guidelines
  • Our staff and participants receive a thorough orientation regarding expectations for appropriate behavior and safety and security procedures and protocols
  • We have contingency plans to move groups to safety or bring groups home if necessary

Nestled in the beautiful Judean Hills, 15 minutes from the center of Jerusalem, Kibbutz Tzuba provides a safe and secure living environment, and ideal classroom space for academic programming in a picturesque environment. There is an infirmary with an on-duty nurse and resident doctor, and the Kibbutz is patrolled by guards and surrounded by a security fence.
Heller High participants are supervised and compassionately cared for by our experienced supervisory staff. We have an exceptional staff team that is able to respond to all student needs. The staff includes program administrators, faculty and counselors. The program administrators include the Principal, Assistant Principal, Director of Student Services, an Office Manager, and health care professionals as needed.

Heller High faculty is made up of many qualified and experienced instructors, including subject specific coordinators. The program employs madrichim (counselors) who live and work directly with the students. Learn more about our staff and faculty.

All madrichim have obtained a college degree or have finished army service in Israel. There are 15 students per madrich. The Jerusalem staff works in tandem with the staff in the United States and the Director of the URJ Camp & Israel Programs.

Upon arrival in Israel, students will be given a very thorough orientation regarding security precautions in general and details as to where they may or may not go. Itineraries and travel routes are reviewed on a daily basis in order to make every effort to avoid areas of tension. The staff in Jerusalem consults with the Security Office of the Jerusalem Agency for Israel to review each day’s travel itinerary. We closely monitor the general conditions in Israel and are prepared to make adjustments to the program as needed. There may be periods of time when students are restricted to the kibbutz. Parents will be informed of any major changes in the schedule.

Within Israel, participants travel only on private coach buses and do not travel in or near the West Bank or Gaza Strip. Participants travel to the Kotel (Western Wall) and the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem only under the direct supervision of Heller High faculty and staff. Students are allowed to take inter-city buses with the approval and coordination of the staff.

Participants travel to and from Israel on airlines that provide appropriate safety and security. Heller High has an understanding with the Government of Israel to ensure that our students have priority on flights from Israel if required. Contingency plans are in place (as they have been for many years) to either relocate the group in Israel or to bring them home if the need should arise.

Every participant, together with their parent(s) will sign the B'rit Kehillah "Heller High Code of Conduct." These guidelines establish clear behavioral expectations of participants. Our school has spent much time and effort evolving what we believe to be the most appropriate policies to ensure the safety and security of each participant. The behavior code (which includes security precautions) is strictly enforced. Although it is a rare occurrence, individuals have been expelled from the program. Such expulsion is at the sole discretion of the Heller High Principal.

Disciplinary action is not arbitrary and an attempt is made to be progressive in our approach. However, specific activities such as, but not limited to: security infractions; the possession or use of drugs, nicotine or alcohol; unexcused absence from the program; violation of curfew; acts threatening to other participants; possession of a knife or any other item that can be construed as a weapon; destruction of property; and theft are considered dangerous enough to warrant expulsion. Security infractions on the part of the participants will not be tolerated and can lead to expulsion.

Students are encouraged to keep their personal items with them at all times. Unaccompanied items in Israel are considered “suspicious objects” by security authorities and are dealt with accordingly. Students are also encouraged to be alert and to pay attention to what is happening around them. Participants should not divulge information about who they are and their itineraries to strangers, regardless of how attractive they may be. Visitors are not permitted to stay overnight in kibbutz dorm rooms with our students. Visiting family members may reserve guest rooms at the kibbutz guesthouse.

In order to ensure the safety of personal valuable items, there is a safe provided in each dorm room. Students are encouraged to use it. Heller High and the URJ assume no responsibility for cash and other valuables left in dorm rooms, hotel rooms, on buses, or any overnight facility or in transit in Israel or going to and from Israel. Students are encouraged to keep their doors and windows locked when no one is in their dorm room.