When it comes to teaching their children about their Hebrew language and heritage, most Jewish families turn to Jewish day schools. But boarding school has many advantages for children, above and beyond superior academics and facilities. A person’s adolescent years play an undeniably important role in his or her identity formation, and for American Jews who want their children to remain committed to the American Jewish community, Jewish boarding school could be the answer.

It wasn’t that long ago that the only Jewish boarding school available to American students served those with an interest in Talmudic study and complete separation from the secular world. But now, students can attend American Hebrew Academy, the first Jewish boarding school that welcomes students from every movement within modern Judaism. And while many parents may have visions of cold dormitories, lumpy mattresses, stern housemasters, and terrible food, that’s not what the modern boarding school experience is like at all.

Give Your Child the Academic Tools to Succeed

Boarding schools aren’t as popular in the United States, but American parents considering boarding school could take a cue from the U.K., where ambitious young people often beg their parents for the change to attend a boarding school. Why? Because boarding school has a lot to offer a young person, especially one who wants to attend an elite university, or one isn’t being challenged academically at their local private or public school.

In general, boarding schools offer students a more rigorous academic curriculum along with a higher degree of academic support than day schools, and a Jewish boarding school is no exception. These schools specialize in preparing students to be leaders. American Hebrew Academy brings in the best secular and Jewish faculty from around the nation to prepare students for success at the nation’s best colleges and universities.

Students at boarding schools have access to far more academic support than those at day schools, and are able to form stronger relationships with their instructors. They also have access to state-of-the-art athletics facilities, technology, and learning tools. Students at American Hebrew Academy study abroad at Israel’s Alexander Muss High School for ten weeks, an experience that solidifies bonds with Israel.

Nurture Your Child’s Social Development

Adolescence is a difficult time for even the happiest, most well-adjusted child. Are you prepared to guide your child through the trials and tribulations of these most difficult years? What if you had the help of a child care professional who has worked with hundreds of angst-ridden teenagers? If you send your child to a boarding school, that’s exactly what you’ll get.

Some might say that it’s your job as a parent to provide your child with advice and guidance through adolescence, but there’s nothing wrong with putting the job in the hands of an experienced professional who is trained to offer adolescents emotional and social guidance. Besides, many children are happier at boarding school than at home for a simple reason — all their friends are there.

Once your child has settled in at school, he or she will have access to dozens of friends all the time. Some of these children will be the sons and daughters of the powerful, influential, and wealthy, which could leave your own son or daughter well-connected later in life. Others will be there on scholarship, so your child will still have the chance to get to know people from different backgrounds and emerge from school with a well-rounded personality. In any case, the friends your child makes at boarding school will be friends for life, and those friendships will be much stronger than those he or she may have forged at day school.

Boarding School Isn’t What It’s Cracked Up to Be — It’s Better

What most people picture when they think of boarding school — a dreary, isolated, Spartan campus ruled over by punishingly strict school officials — doesn’t reflect today’s boarding school experience. Today’s schools offer a level of comfort and access to amenities that day schools simply can’t offer. American Hebrew School gives students the chance to live in comfortable and stately environs while steeping in Jewish pluralism, building their Jewish identities in a Jewish study environment, and strengthening their relationship with Israel.

If you want to give your student every opportunity in life, boarding school could be the answer. A rich social environment, deep academic support, and athletic opportunities are just some of what a Jewish boarding school has to offer your student. Give your child the chance to become a leader at boarding school.

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