Jamie Friedman, a teen from Boulder, is part of a cohort of 73 teens from across North America on the NFTY-EIE (Eisendrath International Experience) High School in Israel program from January through May.
The NFTY High School in Israel – Eisendrath International Experience (EIE) is a semester long (four months) program for high school students in grades 10-12 in Israel. Named for the late Rabbi Maurice N. Eisendrath, past president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, now the Union for Reform Judaism, EIE is an intensive academic program and is fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The program was established in 1961 by NFTY, the youth arm of the Reform Movement. Many of the leaders of Reform Judaism today are alumni of this program.
EIE is incredibly important to me as a learning experience,” says Jamie. “I am here to learn about and see Israel. More than that, I am thrilled for all the amazing friendships I’ve had the chance to make. I am looking forward to the rest of my experience!”
NFTY-EIE is based on Kibbutz Tzuba, located in the Judean Hills approximately fifteen minutes outside of Jerusalem. With very small class sizes, students take an advanced Jewish History class, an advanced Hebrew Ulpan, and their regular general studies courses to fulfill the requirements of their home high schools.
NFTY-EIE students have a unique opportunity to benefit from experiential learning. Tiyulim (field trips), are taken to visit whatever they are learning about in their Jewish history class. Approximately three days a week are spent outside the classroom on field trips. There are also numerous week long trips throughout the semester, including a trip to Poland to study the Holocaust, a week in Gadna (a simulated Israeli army training experience), and a hike across the country from sea to sea.
The NFTY EIE High School in Israel offers outstanding teens the opportunity to develop a deep sense of personal connection to Israel and the Jewish people while being inspired to explore their personal Jewish identity during four challenging and rewarding months,” said Paul Reichenbach, Director of Camping and Israel Programs for the Union for Reform Judaism. “Students return home with heightened self-confidence together with a love of Jewish living and learning.”
Registration is open for EIE’s Summer 2015, Fall 2015, and Spring 2016 sessions. More information can be found at www.nftyeie.org.