What is the Na’ale High School Program In Israel?
Na’ale: High School Program in Israel offers 9th and 10th grade students who display academic excellence a fully subsidized three year high school program in Israel. The program includes Hebrew Ulpan, all academic studies until graduation, extracurricular activities, full room and board, as well as many other exciting benefits. Na’ale has been operating for many years and with much success for young people from South Africa, South America, and all over Europe. Due to demand Na’ale has recently expanded to include all of North America, the U.K., Australia, and more!
The program is run by the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Department of Immigration and Absorption which established the Na’ale framework to provide this unique and incredible opportunity for qualified teens to experience the wonders of life in Israel, learn a new language, and participate in meaningful and fun extracurricular activities all while getting a world class education.
Where are the Schools?
Na’ale: High School Program in Israel students study at boarding schools that have been carefully chosen and specifically prepared for the purpose of running the Na’ale High School Program. There are several different streams of study available for participants: “Mamlachti” which is state school education, “Dati” which is religious boys or girls, and Chabad girls. Candidates together with their parents choose their preference of education prior to their arrival in Israel. During the first year in Israel, a major emphasis is put on teaching Hebrew. Regular academic subjects are taught in simple Hebrew and students receive supplementary assistance and translations into their mother tongue.
Each Na’ale school has a designated program coordinator. Each class has an educational team consisting of the homeroom teacher, housemother and madrich or counselor. At least two of the staff persons are fluent in English. In addition, another professional team is available for both social and moral support. The majority of matriculation exams take place in Hebrew in the end of the 12th grade when the students’ Hebrew skills are at their highest level. The Ministry of Education accords special conditions for Elite Academy students to compensate for their recently acquired language skills.
What Academics and Extra-Curricular Activities Does the Program Provide?
Special emphasis is placed on tailoring the educational program to the needs of each participant, taking into account her/his personal ability, interests and wishes with a view toward allowing each student to fully reach her/his potential. In some schools a special curriculum is devised for students who have exemplary talent in mathematics, physics and computers.
Throughout the program, students take part in field trips, extracurricular activities and seminars, together with their Israeli and international Na’ale peers.
What do the kids do when school isn’t in session?
Israeli host families are arranged for those participants who are interested. Israeli host families offer Shabbat hospitality, a “home away from home” during school holidays and a warm and caring environment to cater to the needs of the student. This is done in conjunction with Olim Organizations, and whenever possible, the families are veteran immigrants from English- speaking countries. This arrangement is offered the students after they have had some time to adjust to their new setting.
What about holidays?
Several weekends per month are designated as ‘free weekends’. Students are encouraged to leave their dormitory setting for the weekend in order to: visit family, spend time with their host family, relatives or friends. During the longer vacation periods (Succot, Hanukkah, and Pesach) students are also welcome to visit their families and friends and, under special arrangements, may also fly home. During the Israeli summer holidays (July & August), students are encouraged to visit their families overseas. Maintaining ongoing relationships with family are paramount to the success of the individual and program.
Note: During all weekends and vacations there are staff members on duty at the school and whoever wishes to stay can do so.
How do I know my child will be healthy and safe?
Each student is fully insured – while in Israel-- including medical and dental treatment, for the entire duration of the program. Orthodontic care is not covered.
The Elite Academy welcomes the visits of parents to Israel. We advise, though, that these visits take place only during school holidays, in order not to disrupt the study program. Parental visits during other times must be coordinated with the program coordinator at each school.
What are my child’s responsibilities?
Students receive full board, travel money some pocket money and a budget for maintaining telephone contact with their parents abroad. In return, students are required to take their studies seriously and fully utilize the time available to achieve the educational objectives of the program. Students are also expected to abide by the rules of the Elite Academy.
What happens after my child graduates?
Upon completion of their school studies, Na’ale students can choose to remain in Israel and to pursue various tracks of national service. They can also choose to pursue studies in institutions of higher education. They are offered guidance and assistance by the various authorities, even if they choose not pursue further education.
Who is eligible?
The Na’ale High School in Israel (Elite Academy) program is intended for students who have successfully completed nine to ten years of schooling and wish to continue their high school education in Israel. Candidates are, however, accepted to 10th grade only*. The course of study for participants consists of the last three years of high school, “yud, yud aleph, yud bet” (years 10,11 and 12 of studies) with the objective of completing the Israeli matriculation - a High School diploma recognized by most countries in the world.
Please note that students who completed 10th grade and are fluent in speaking, reading and writing Hebrew may be accepted directly into the 11th grade if found suitable.
The importance of having an Israeli Matriculation (Bagrut) is that it enables students to be accepted to a wide spectrum of universities and colleges in Israel and around the world.
If you are studying in your ninth or tenth year of school, you are a eligible to apply to Na’ale. Acceptance to the program is based on passing an interviewing procedure and several written exams. Academic background and emotional maturity are among the criteria considered for acceptance.
Participants retain their citizenship in the country of origin, and do not become Israeli citizens. To talk to someone in your community about Na’ale please contact your local Aliyah Shaliach – their information is at: www.jewishagency.org/aliyahna
Last updated: Sunday, April 29, 2010