USY High is an international co-ed secondary school in Israel offering students a high-level academic curriculum of General Studies along with a superior course of Israel Studies, Jewish Studies, and Hebrew. It is an academic and experiential learning opportunity unique to its setting in Jerusalem and will be carried out in full coordination with each student’s home high school. USY High is an all-encompassing framework, designed to provide students with a stimulating cross-cultural experience while focusing on their personal and Jewish development. USY High students will love calling Jerusalem their new home after living and learning in the ‘center of Jewish gravity’ and the modern capital of the State of Israel. USY High Program is open to 10th-12th grade students and offers an incredible journey of self-awareness vital to any high school student.
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USY High thinks outside of the standard educational box. USY High provides a high-quality educational environment and encourages students to expand their horizons in practical and theoretical areas and disciplines. USY High challenges its students, faculty, and staff to develop positive relationships and connections. USY High will continue to partner with CHAT administration, offering a full range of courses for CHAT students, including Grade 10 academic and applied English, mathematics, science, history and a range of electives including foreign languages and visual arts. USY High creates an educational environment conducive to learning how to think as well as mastering material. USY High establishes an atmosphere whereby students can learn from a variety of sources including themselves, their peers, counselors, and teachers – while in a dormitory setting far from home and far from parental supervision. USY High is fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
Life at USY High bears a strong similarity to dormitory life in university, but in a smaller, more secure environment appropriate for high school students. Students at USY High live in dorms, which are a short walk to the classrooms, the administration building, and the dining hall. The dorms are set up with a number of rooms, a kitchenette area with a communal refrigerator, and a student lounge. Each dormitory room is designed for up to four students and includes a shared bathroom and study space for each student. USY High is based on the campus of the Israel Goldstein Youth Village (Chavat HaNoar HaTzioni, “the Chava”) in the San Simon neighborhood of Jerusalem. The pastoral Chava is a lush, tree-lined campus that is also home to an Israeli boarding school and a high school for French students. The Chava includes athletic facilities, a library, an indoor pool, and a kosher cafeteria and is a secure gated facility. Adjacent to campus is a shopping plaza, which contains a supermarket, bank/ATM kiosk, money changing facility, coffee shop, falafel stand, and a laundromat.
USY High provides social, emotional, medical, and psychological support to our students. Madrichim (dorm counselors) live in the dorms and they become a regular part of the students’ lives, dispensing advice on everything from upcoming tiyulim (trips) and life in Israel to how to find the best burger in Jerusalem. The madrichim help students to feel at home, navigate communal living, gain independence, make decisions and take responsibility for their actions.
The USY High student life coordinator works very closely with students, madrichim and faculty to monitor student adjustment throughout the program. The student life coordinator and USY High director maintain an open line of communication with families, keeping them informed about all aspects of student safety, health, and well-being.
USY High is a model Jewish kehilla (community) that includes celebrating Jewish spiritual experiences, the observance of Shabbat, festivals and kashrut. This is done in a comfortable, USY/Ramah-style environment of Jewish learning where everyone is accepted, and all are encouraged to try new ways to express their personal religious Judaism.
The Israel Core Course (ICC) is a key component of the USY High program. Students study a comprehensive history of Israel and the Jewish people through both classroom and field-based learning. The approach taken is both chronological and thematic with the aim of teaching heritage in addition to history. USY High students see themselves as links in the chain of the Jewish people. Students will participate in a six-day journey to Poland, learning the history of Eastern European Jewry and the Holocaust.
Through a partnership between USY High and Gratz College in Philadelphia, USY High students are eligible to participate in a concurrent enrollment program in which they may earn college credits.
USY High is a project of Ramah Israel, a division of the National Ramah Commission, which operates under the educational and religious supervision of The Jewish Theological Seminary.