(JTA) — The AMIT religious Zionist organization will use a $6 million endowment to help students in Israel earn their matriculation certificate.
The program, Ellen’s Kids, will be established with the grant from the estate of the late AMIT board member Ellen Koplow. It is the largest single gift in AMIT’s 90-year history, the organization said in a statement.
“Ellen’s Kids will help AMIT students in Israel who have struggled academically, so they can excel despite their incredible personal challenges and obtain their bagrut (matriculation) certificate,” AMIT President Debbie Isaac said.
Many students attend AMIT’s schools and surrogate foster care programs in Israel due to financial or emotional challenges in their families. Among the issues facing these families is the Arab-Israeli conflict, socioeconomic challenges and being new immigrants. Some students come from families dealing with problems of alcoholism, drug use and domestic abuse.
Obtaining the bagrut has a strong correlation with higher paying jobs and greater levels of professional success in Israel.
Eighty-three percent of students enrolled in AMIT’s network of high schools throughout Israel receive their bagrut certificate, which is 20 percent higher than the national average.