Partnering for Teen Israel Programs

by Dr. Leon Weissberg

So many organizations are out there targeting the Jewish teen community for a myriad of Israel programs and Israel opportunities. Leaders among those programs have been two notable institutions, The Alexander Muss High School in Israel (AMHSI) and March of the Living (MOL). This year the leadership of both organizations has endeavored to come up with a way to provide Junior and Senior High School students with the opportunity of doing both and saving a significant amount of money if they participated on each program independently.

The March of the Living is an international, educational program that brings Jewish teens from all over the world to Poland on Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Memorial Day), to march from Auschwitz to Birkenau, the largest concentration and death camp complex built during World War II, and then to Israel to observe Yom HaZikaron (Israel Memorial Day), and Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Israel Independence Day).

The Miami-Dade March of the Living organization known as the Leo Martin MOL, named for a survivor who gave the organization $1,000,000 to support their financial assistance needs, has agreed to work with AMHSI and take at least 15 and up to 40 students who will spend the first week in Poland along with their delegation. Once arriving in Israel the AMHSI faculty will take over for an additional 7 weeks to study and experience 4000 years of history. They will re-unite with the MOL for Yom Hazikaron and Im Ha’Atzmaut.

The Alexander Muss High School in Israel is the only non-denominational, English speaking study-abroad program in Israel for high school students. AMHSI offers 6-week, 8-week, and full semester programs. Students that participate in one of these programs may be eligible to receive 6 transferable college credits from the University of Miami. Especially designed to help students gain a broader view of the world and develop a deeper appreciation of history, international relations, geography and literature, AMHSI students develop valuable learning skills and perspectives that help them throughout high school and prepare them for college and beyond.

This 1st time collaborative effort will give AMHSI participants the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the period of history known as the Holocaust and MOL participants the opportunity to gain a deeper connection to the history, culture and people of Israel.

It is the hope of both organizations that the pilot program can open the doors to future collaboration between the two and possibly model it for others when seeking to send teens to Israel as multiple programs can be financially prohibitive for many families. For those families who cannot afford the joint $11,500 program each of the organizations can also provide financial assistance that can help reduce the families total outlay. It’s a model well worth pursuing.

Gideon Shavit, the CEO of AMHSI and Dr. Leon Weissberg, Director of the LM/MOL in Miami are both optimistic that recruitment for this program will be successful. Perhaps one day, all organizations that connect teens to Israel and their heritage will collaborate in an effort to fulfill their missions.

For more information contact either:
Dr. Leon Weissberg Director, Leon Martin MOL at 305-576-4030 x144 or or Marilynn Rothstein Director of Special Programs, AMHSI at 954-575-5680 or