Yeshivot Bnei Akiva has announced the launching of a low-cost, high-quality educational alternative to modern Orthodox day schools: a 3-year religious Zionist high school program in Israel for tenth through twelfth grade students from Diaspora communities. The program will be subsidized by the Ministry of Education Naale Program, and tuition will be approximately half of the average tuition for yeshiva high school education in the U.S., with scholarship assistance available for needy families.
The program will feature intensive modern Hebrew instruction [Ulpan] in the first year, with the goal of mainstreaming the students into regular Hebrew language classes from the second year on (with extra tutoring available as needed). English language and literature classes will be aligned with the American high school curriculum and additional PSAT/SAT preparation classes will be offered. Graduates will receive an Israeli high school matriculation [Bagrut] diploma, recognized by most leading universities in the US.
YBA, which has a network of 63 schools throughout Israel, designed the program in an effort to deepen the connection of American Jews with the Jewish homeland.
The Bnei Akiva program is open to all American day school students, but more than likely it will be a more appealing to families who are considering aliyah or those who have relatives in Israel.
Four veteran YBA dormitory schools have agreed to participate in the program: Yeshivot Netiv Meir in Jerusalem and Ohel Shlomo in Beer Sheva, and Ulpanot Amana in Kfar Saba and Segula in Kiryat Motzkin. YBA’s goal is to recruit 20 students per school to enter 10th grade in September 2010.