June 23, 2024
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June 23, 2024
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Religious American Students Find the Perfect Jewish Education for Free

All around the world, parents and Jewish teens seek to balance the need for an affordable, quality education and the desire for Jewish expression. Jewish parents look for ways to provide their children with a solid Jewish identity and a quality education. For many, the cost of full-time Jewish education is prohibitive, yet a public school education comes at the expense of the social discomfort. For many families, Jewish education is relegated to bar/bat mitzvah lessons, with the need for a solid academic foundation taking priority. It becomes a challenge for many teens and young adults to develop and maintain a strong sense of Jewish identity.

Looking beyond the traditional options can hold the answer to all their needs.

For some 1,600 Jewish students, the solution to this ever-common dilemma has an address. Though out-of-the-box, these families have decided to invest in a non-traditional way, giving their children the adventure of a lifetime and sending them to high school boarding programs in Israel.

For Yossi Kalman, of Riverdale, and hundreds of his American peers enrolled in Naale Elite Academy’s 25 schools, they found the perfect fit. Naale’s programs provide both an affordable education and a great Jewish atmosphere. The tracks offer independent teens in 9th through 12th grade a top-notch Jewish education with a full scholarship.

Kalman, 16, is having an opportunity of a lifetime completing his high school education at Naale’s Shalavim program in Israel. The famous Boys Yeshiva High School has offered continuing excellence since 1961 and was chosen as one of the top 10 schools in Israel. While attending boarding school in Israel might seem like a radical approach at first, Kalman explained that for his family it was the perfect solution to a common problem.

It can be hard for parents to send their children overseas, but the benefits far outweigh the downsides. Kalman said, “My family is very supportive. My mother is a little worried about the political situation but she knows I’m being careful.” Kalman was eager to come on the Naale program. “I wanted to perfect my Hebrew and have a high level of Torah learning,” he said.

Naale Elite Academy runs specialized tracks including secular and religious programs, intensive-level science and art programs, as well as separate groups for students from predominantly English, French, Spanish and Russian-speaking backgrounds. While on the program, students are supported by a whole network of professional assistance, including dorm counselors, social workers, language specialists, psychologists and, of course, dedicated teachers.

Students take the internationally recognized Israeli high school matriculation exam, the Bagrut. While students are given assistance if they wish to make aliyah after completing Naale, eventual aliyah is not a requirement of the program. Although it is a three- or four-year course, completing all four years at Naale Elite Academy is not mandatory. Students are free to transfer back to their home countries at any point in time. The Naale full scholarship covers all tuition fees, full board in the on-campus boarding school, health insurance, extracurricular activities, trips and excursions, and initial flight to Israel.

Laurie Green, 17, of East Brunswick, NJ, is thrilled to be part of Naale Elite Academy program Amana. Amana is located in the Heart of Kfar Saba and is one of the top high schools for Orthodox girls in Israel. “I love the connections with friends that you make here,” she explained. “Both with the other Naale girls and the Israeli girls.”

Kalman would be quick to recommend the experience to any Jewish teens looking to expand their horizons, saying, “Here you really learn Hebrew. The staff is very supportive of the students.” Green added, “Even when it’s hard, it’s still worth being here at the end.”

The Naale program offers students many special memories, including Shabbatonim, setting students up for Shabbat at host families, bikur cholim trips to hospitals and preparing for chagim together. For Green, she treasures the fun and memorable experiences. A favorite: “We went on a trip to Ein Gedi. We saw the waterfalls, went to Masada and got to ride on camels. Then we all slept in a Bedouin tent in the desert. It made amazing memories,” she said.

To overcome the challenges of mounting tuition costs of Jewish schools, more and more Jewish teens are discovering that Naale Elite Academy holds the solution to all their problems, with the added benefit of gaining meaningful lifelong experiences, independence and skills. In the meantime, hundreds of Jewish students like Frank and Green are having the greatest time!

For more information about the Naale Elite Academy, visit www.naale-elite-academy.com.

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