“Our dual curriculum presents a rigorous academic environment designed for students to reach their full potential. The faculty at the Academy hail from around the globe, helping students excel in a scholastic program that includes Advanced Placement, college level, and Jewish studies courses,” says executive director Glenn Drew.
The school was founded in 1996 by Maurice “Chico” Sabbah and his wife Zmira, who dreamed of developing a first-of-its-kind Jewish teen community from all denominations. His passion for environmen- talism, clean living, and physical fitness stemmed from
years living on a kibbutz and is an integral part of the Academy’s philosophy. The school saves a tremendous amount of energy by utilizing a geothermal energy system that was incorporated in the campus’ original design. Recognized for its outstanding environmental work and focus, the Academy was recently awarded Green Ribbon certification.
“There are quite a few Jewish day school options out there, the Academy is one of those options and may just be the most unique,” says director of recruitment Mark Spielman. “Our students come to the Academy from throughout the United States and around the world from all Jewish backgrounds.”
Interestingly, many of its students arrive from states in which high school options do exist, such as New Jersey, New York, and California. Spielman attributes this phenomenon to the school’s unique offerings and reputation.
Modeled after the best boarding schools in the nation, American Hebrew Academy provides an educa- tional environment where students are unquestionably prepared for college, able to explore their Jewish iden- tity, and graduate with lifelong skills for leadership.
“We take great pride in being a pluralistic institution
as we offer our students many Judaic selections. In what other school could you take a class co-taught by Conser- vative, Orthodox, and Reform rabbis?” asks Spielman. “The Academy gives its students various service options as well, including but not limited to Conservative, Orthodox, and Reform.”
The campus is breathtaking, and the classrooms are state-of-the-art, as each one includes a tear-drop shaped learning table (rather than standard separate desks) encouraging collaborative discussion among students and teacher, and a smart-board. Living spaces are home-like residences built for approximately 20 stu- dents each. Students live two to a room alongside res- ident house-parents and assistant house-parents. Each evening you will find students Skyping their parents to catch up on the day. Being plugged in is a key compo- nent of the Academy, and keeps parents informed and engaged. Each home has lounges, bistros, and laundry rooms. Students and teachers share their meals in an impressive kosher dining pavilion.
The Academy puts an emphasis on both arts and athletics, giving its students the opportunity to pursue their passions, with 36 different art electives and var- sity sport options including basketball, cross-country, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, and vol- leyball. The 88,000-square-foot athletic facility houses a competition-sized pool, indoor basketball courts, rock-climbing walls, a wrestling room, a fully equipped weight room, and a racquetball court. A 22-acre lake and a new boathouse has enabled the Academy to offer both kayaking and sailing to their student body. The Academy is truly remarkable and offers students the chance to realize their full potential.
Tuition, room, board, and fees are $22,800 (day stu- dents) and $33,800 (boarding students). The Academy offers scholarships based on demonstrated need as well as merit for those students that distinguish themselves from their peers.
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