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Local Teen Spends Summer Learning in Israel

Seventeen year old Evan Ludin didn’t spend his summer like the rest of his classmates at Winter Park High School; lounging by the pool, working part-time jobs or going on family vacations. Instead, the teen from Maitland went to the Alexander Muss High School in Israel (AMHSI) to learn about and experience Israel’s history first-hand and calls his time there, “one of the greatest experiences of my life.”

AMHSI is a two month study abroad summer program for English speaking high school students. The school offers college credit, while teens learn about Israel’s history in chronological order; many times in the actual location the events took place.

Evan received a scholarship from Jewish National Fund (JNF) to go to AMHSI. In return, he had to get donations for planting trees in Israel and help out at a JNF event.

Evan began classes at AMHSI on June 26th, but says he learned most of the information outside of the classroom. The program took students on many field trips to historical sites that corresponded with what they were learning. For example, Evan says they learned about the Six Day War while in the Golan Heights and discussed King Saul while hiking down Mount Gilboah, the place of his death.

“On this trip, history came alive,” Evan said, “and I have a new found passion for Israel and history because of this experience.”

Great teachers with outstanding backgrounds are given some of the credit for Evan’s amazing time at AMHSI. One of his teachers, David Sprung, fought in the Six Day War and hunted escaped Nazi’s. The other, Yossi Katz, was an Israeli national boxing champion. Evan says, “Both teachers were amazing people and they were great teachers because they were excellent story tellers.”

Evan lived in dorms with his fellow classmates in the town of Hod HaSharon and was given plenty of time to roam the city. The students also did tikun olam by planting trees in the desert and picking tomatoes for the poor. While in Israel, he says he bought a lot of souvenirs for his family, “but most importantly,” he said, “I brought back knowledge of my people’s history and a passion for the Jewish community.”


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