JERUSALEM (JTA) — Rabbi Morris Kipper, the founder of a high school in Israel program, has died.
Kipper, who in 1972 founded the Alexander Muss High School in suburban Tel Aviv, died at his home in Miami, Fla. He was 79.
The longtime Miami resident founded the Hod Hasharon school with his wife, Lenore, and in partnership with the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.
Initially designed as a program for Miami-area students to boost interest and attachment to Israel during the formative teenage years, its popularity caused organizers to include students from throughout North America.
The eight-week program for 10th- to 12th-graders has more than 20,000 alumni.
“Rabbi Kipper’s legacy of commitment to Jewish education and the land and people of Israel will be realized through the thousands more young students who will participate in the program in the years to come, all made possible through Kipper’s unique vision and understanding for the needs of the modern Jewish community," said Gideon Shavit, CEO of the Muss high school.
The son of an Orthodox rabbi and a kosher caterer, Kipper received rabbinic ordination in Cincinnati and then worked as a rabbi in Temple Beth Shalom in Peabody, Mass. He joined Temple Judea in Coral Gables in 1964, where he also taught in its weekly religious school. His teaching experience at Temple Judea led him to design the more intense high school in Israel program, according to the Miami Herald.
Kipper resigned from the Muss program in 1990 and held several rabbinic positions until his death.
He and his wife visited the school last June.