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The Shirlye Kaufman Birnbrey AMHSI Impact Fellowship Program


The Shirlye Kaufman Birnbrey Alexander Muss High School in Israel Impact Fellowship Program

A transformational semester abroad program where Israel becomes a living classroom, inspiring high school students to discover and explore identity, land, and peoplehood through an experiential approach to learning!

The Shirlye Kaufman Birnbrey Alexander Muss High School in Israel (AMHSI) Impact Fellowship Program provides Atlanta Jewish students in the 11th grade with the extraordinary opportunity to connect to the Jewish people and the land of Israel. Through the generous support of Shirlye Kaufman Birnbrey's family, two Atlanta high school juniors will be selected to experience the Spring Semester session at AMHSI as Impact Fellows. The program is an all-inclusive journey including tuition, on-campus housing, meal plan, educational material, and trip costs, providing selected applicants the opportunity of a lifetime. The Impact Fellowship offers the structure, resources, and support you need to make this semester YOUR semester in Israel.

What is the Shirlye Kaufman Birnbrey Alexander Muss High School in Israel Impact Fellowship Program?

Impact fellows will attend the AMHSI Spring Semester session along with high school students from North America and across the globe. Students study the flagship core curriculum, an intensive review of Israel and 4,000 years of Jewish history, which provides them with the context and framework to discover and explore their own link within the chain of Jewish continuity. AMHSI's unique pedagogical approach fuses traditional classroom study and informal experiential learning, as students not only gain knowledge but also have the opportunity to explore Israel as a living classroom.

The Impact Fellowship is more than just a trip to Israel – it is an experience where students gain skills in independent living, engage in deep personal growth and form lifelong friendships. During their semester in Israel, students will take Hebrew immersion classes, experience Gadna - a week-long basic training course for Israeli youth, embark on a 4-day adventure from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee and travel to Poland to learn about the Holocaust's destructive impact, all the while continuing their general studies courses to earn high school academic credit. As a result of the AMHSI experience, students leave Israel committed to giving back to their communities and better prepared for life on college campuses and beyond.

During the session, fellows will be required to contribute their experiences to the Impact Fellowship blog, which will be published on JNF social media platforms; they may also undertake additional fellowship projects. Upon their return home, fellows will write an article summarizing their experience in Israel, share their story at communal events and with the JNF regional board, and launch a project created in Israel. Fellows will be considered a part of the Impact Fellowship network and will be requested to participate in related activities. APPLY NOW

About Alexander Muss High School in Israel

Alexander Muss High School in Israel is a place of exploration and discovery. Since 1972, 24,000 alumni later, AMHSI continues to pioneer the academic and experiential teaching of Israel and Jewish history at the high school level. Our bold vision of transforming tomorrow's generation today impacts the building of a brighter future for tomorrow.

Learn more about AMHSI.

About the Sponsor

The Shirlye Kaufman Birnbrey AMHSI Impact Fellowship Program was created by Shirlye's children: Jeff and Alison Kaufman, Richard (z"l) and Barbara Kaufman, Mark and Nancy Kaufman, and Karen and Craig Senf in memory of their mother, who always promoted the importance of funding Jewish schools. Born into a southern Zionist family, Shirlye's life as a child was steeped in orthodox cultural, social, intellectual and religious Judaism in small town Georgia. She insisted on a strong formal Jewish education for her family and she adhered to her own strong beliefs by participation in and funding of many Jewish institutions. She was blessed with a wonderful life intertwined with a generous spirit. This fund allows her children to continue this legacy for future generations of Jews and the advancement of Jewish culture.

Applicant must

    •Be a resident of Atlanta and in their junior year of high school in January
      of 2016.
    Submit an application by August 31, 2015.
    • Meet with a selection committee.
    • Pay the $350 refundable deposit (the deposit will be refunded if
      you are not accepted to the fellowship).
    • Raise $650 through JNF’s Plant Your Way.
    • Write about their experience by contributing to a weekly blog
      post that will be published on JNF's various social media
      platforms during the program.

Returning AMHSI participants will be expected to:

    • Write about their experience in Israel for the greater community.
    • Organize and hold a recruitment event with the assistance of
      AMHSI and JNF Atlanta staff.
    • Speak at communal events about their AMHSI experience.
    • Speak to JNF's Atlanta Board of Trustees.
    • Develop a project while in Israel under the guidance of
      AMHSI staff that will be launched in Atlanta.

Applications for the 2016 Shirlye Birnbrey Kaufman AMHSI Impact Fellowship will be accepted in July and August of 2015.



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