I touched down in Israel as wildfires were burning around the country, affecting AMIT schools in multiple communities. Almost instantly, AMIT students, faculty and administrators responded to the need. A hub was quickly established for matching offers of assistance with those residents who had to evacuate, or had lost, their homes. Moti Arbel, principal of AMIT Sderot Religious High School and head of AMIT’s fire relief effort, fielded hundreds of offers to provide accommodations, supplies and other necessities to those affected by the fire, proving once again that Reshet AMIT functions as a family across Israel. Students collected clothing for affected residents of Zichron Yaacov and went down to local fire stations to thank and feed the exhausted firefighters.
I learned that at AMIT Anna Teich Ulpanat Haifa High School, many of our students were among the 75,000 families forced to evacuate. Amazingly, routine had since been restored and classes were in session, including the many enrichment classes offered—art, photography, cooking and jewelry-making, among others.
I dropped in on classes where students ranging from special needs to gifted learn together at every grade level. Teachers embrace the challenges this presents on a daily basis, and it’s a point of tremendous pride that the Ulpana has a 100% full Bagrut pass rate—an extraordinary achievement!
A similar feeling of having weathered the crisis and emerged stronger lingered at AMIT Kennedy Junior and Senior High Schools in Acco, where many students come from Haifa and the surrounding areas. The students I met with spoke openly about their fears during the fires, but described how staying in school and assisting others in need helped them to cope during the crisis.
These schools capture the values of an AMIT education: they shine through not only in time of crisis, but, equally, in the smaller successes of facing and overcoming challenges on an everyday basis throughout our very diverse student body.
For our supporters, meeting students is a fantastic way to learn about Reshet AMIT’s vital contribution to Israeli life. But the ultimate way to understand the impact AMIT has made on individual students and its collective impact on the quality of education in Israel, to see the real results of our investment in Reshet AMIT, is by experiencing it first-hand in Israel. I invite you to join AMIT on an extraordinary Mission this May that will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Reunification of Jerusalem. From May 21-25, 2017, take part in an enormous celebration and gain unique insight into AMIT and its profound influence on the State of Israel.
It could be a life-transforming experience and I would love to share it with you.
Debbie Moed, President