The URJ Heller High Experience

For the Reform Jewish teen looking for the ultimate in Jewish living and learning, URJ Heller High (formerly NFTY-EIE)  is an unparalleled experience.

Since 1961, thousands of exceptional young Reform Jews have had a profound experience on our program, spending an unforgettable semester living and learning in Israel.

Spend four months immersing yourself in the richness of the land, culture, people, and history of Israel. Celebrate Reform Judaism and progressive Jewish life, and take part in extensive tours of the country.

Discover a new passion for Judaism, and find out what it means to be a young leader as you gain critical knowledge and form lifelong friendships!

What awaits you at Heller High?

Exciting and engaging hands-on learning, stimulating discussions, and the chance to literally dig through thousands of years of Jewish history. Immerse yourself directly in the material you study through small classes, extensive touring, and field trips every week. Discover new things every day about your Jewish history and your personal future as a leader of the Jewish people.

Much of the learning at Heller High is done in the field. Students spend upwards of three days a week on field trips and cultural excursions, visiting the very historical sites they are learning about in their classes.

From participating in active archaeological digs in the desert, to engaging with modern Israeli culture in Tel Aviv, students become intimately acquainted with the land, people and culture of Israel.

Spend three unforgettable days and nights of hiking and exploring the Negev Desert! Ride camels across the desert, jump off sand dunes, and sip fresh tea in a Bedouin tent.

Then, travel from the Negev to Eilat to snorkel the waters of the Red Sea and dive to coral reefs from the beaches of Eilat.

Take part in a challenging and rewarding hike from the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) to the Mediterranean Sea.

Camp out under the stars, swim in natural streams and waterways, and bike the terrain, all while intimately getting to know the land of Israel. Gain experience and skills in climbing, orienteering, mountain biking, and wilderness camping.

This challenging week offers a taste of one of the most significant elements of Israeli life: the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Gadna, an army orientation program for Israeli teens, allows Heller High students to join in a basic training program to gain an inside view of the army and modern Israeli life.

While living on an army base, students meet military commanders, learn about the history and culture of the IDF, and join in army training exercises.