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Florida-Founded School in Israel Hosts Israeli Children Under Attack

Contact: Gideon Shavit • JNF Israel Emissary • 305-682-0025 •

hh 1August 4, 2006 --Miami Beach, FL. -- Thousands of Israeli children cooped up in bomb shelters in northern Israel are being given respite from the Katyusha rocket attacks through Jewish National Fund’ Emergency Campaign for Israel -- Operation Security Blanket. With several of JNF’s summer camp sites unusable given their northern location, they are retrofitting forests, doubling up in their accessible locations, and making use of the Alexander Muss Institute for Israel Education (AMIIE) campus in Hod Hasharon.

Thanks to AMIIE's largesse, already 1700 children have enjoyed hiking, swimming, games, and activities during their 7-day stay which takes them away from the constant barrage of rockets and allows their parents a few worry-free days.

Eidan Yekuel, 13-1/2, is from Kiryat Haim, one of Haifa’s suburbs. “A lot of rockets fell where I live,” he said. “We’ve been sleeping in the bomb shelter every night. It’s not pleasant --no bathroom, no showers. There is a television but all day long we hear about how many rockets are falling and where. It’s great to get out, to come here and breathe some fresh air for a change.”

hh2"This is the first time I've been out of the house since the war started," said Neta Navi. "My parents told me stories about their experiences during the first Gulf War, and they said this was worse. It was my friend Sapir's idea that we come to this summer camp and I'm very grateful for her for thinking of it."

As for hiking during the heat of the day, it wasn't easy, "but," said 15-year-old Aviad, "it may be hot, but it sure beats a bomb shelter."

The Alexander Muss Institute for Israel Education (AMIIE) offers students an extraordinary academic experience combined with tiyulim, trips, to historic sites in Israel. Since its founding in 1972 by Rabbi Morris Kipper and the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, more than 18,000 teens from across the country have strengthened their ties to Israel through classroom courses for which school credit is given (including up to six college credits). Students visit all parts of the country for first-hand experiences and learning, helping to create a lifelong love and attachment to the Jewish homeland. Public high school students attend one of five eight-week sessions during the year, and uniquely designed programs are also offered to day schools for eighth graders and for juniors and seniors in high school. And special adult programs are available to interested groups.

hh3Philanthropist and community leader, Stephen Muss, named the school for his father Alexander Muss in 1982 and has been a guiding force in the school’s expansion, not simply in number of students but also in his vision to increase the number of AMIIE campuses in Israelso as many as 5,000 students can participate each year. Part of this vision is to open the next campus in the Negev as part of JNF’s Blueprint Negev campaign and for the school to be part of JNF’s educational mission which seeks to engage, educate and energize Diaspora youth.

strong>Jewish National Fund is a non-profit organization founded in 1901 to serve as caretaker of the land of Israel, on behalf of its owners—Jewish people everywhere. Over the past century, JNF has planted over 240 million trees, built over 180 reservoirs and dams, developed over 250,000 acres of land, created more than 1,000 parks, provided the infrastructure for 1,000 communities and educated students around the world about Israel and the environment.  Today, JNF is putting its entury of experience to work with the Blueprint Negev initiative, supporting Israel’s newest generation of pioneers in developing the Negev Desert, Israel’s last frontier.  For more information on JNF or to plant trees in Israel, call 1-800-542-TREE (8733) or visit  To contact your local office, please call 305-682-0025 or visit

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JEWISH NATIONAL FUND (JNF) began in 1901 as a dream and vision to reestablish a homeland in Israel for Jewish people everywhere. Jews the world over collected coins in iconic JNF Blue Boxes, purchasing land and planting trees until ultimately, their dream of a Jewish homeland was a reality. JNF gives all generations of Jews a unique voice in building a prosperous future for the land of Israel and its people.

JNF embodies both heart and action; our work is varied in scope but singular in benefit. We strive to bring an enhanced quality of life to all of Israel’s residents, and translate these advancements to the world beyond. JNF is greening the desert with millions of trees, building thousands of parks, creating new communities and cities for generations of Israelis to call home, bolstering Israel’s water supply, helping develop innovative arid-agriculture techniques, and educating both young and old about the founding and importance of Israel and Zionism.

JNF is a registered 501(c)(3) organization and United Nations NGO, which continuously earns top ratings from charity overseers.

For more information on JNF, call 888-JNF-0099 or visit


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