'Dror' students
'Dror' studentsPhoto: Naale

Out of all the full scholarship programs within the Naale network of boarding schools in Israel, Dror is one of the most ambitious. Located in Kiryat Moshe, with dorms in the picturesque neighborhood of Ein Kerem, it particularly shines as a unique high school among the other Orthodox schools, both in Israel and the USA.

As a co-ed, pluralistic program, with an international student body, Dror’s approach to education puts an emphasis on the importance of textual studies combined with active encouragement of the student’s curiosity, independence, and critical thought. A perfect setting for students to explore Israel’s capital and exercise their freedom of expression within the Jewish cultural framework, while being supported and motivated by educators and like-minded peers.

The school recognizes the importance of having men and women take up the mantle of leadership in Judaism with the hopes of moving Orthodoxy forward. Its highly academic program aims to create a place for dialogue and research. Dror achieves this goal by academic and social means: each semester students choose a Beit Midrash track to join, and all of them are co-ed. Shachrit services are available each morning, and both genders are encouraged to participate. Alternative options for morning sessions are available for the students to choose from in an effort to encourage that the Tefilah practice of each student comes from a genuine place.

To ensure that the students engage with the religious and cultural facets of Judaism, Dror emphasizes both in-depth academic learning through text as well as communal and social issues. In practice it means that students are encouraged to join community based projects, environmental efforts, and other local activities.

Another way for students to broaden their cultural perspectives is through the school’s living arrangements. The massive grounds of the Ein Kerem dorm houses both Dror Elite Academy and Israeli students. On campus they have the opportunity to interact with each other in the cafeteria, basketball court, computer room, and more.

Additionally, the school offers creative extracurricular workshops that focus on the evolution of art through the ages. These art focused workshops show students the creative process from both the modern technological perspective as well as the aesthetic one.

These workshops are another great way to open up students’ curiosity and creativity, whilst equipping them with useful tools that will come in handy in the pursuit of multiple academic disciplines. Dror takes full advantage of this concept.

Recently students participated in an exciting animation workshop where they were taken through the animation process. They started with sketching out stories and coming up with characters, and then - using a camera, they were able to shoot their own short films! Not only was the workshop fun and exciting, it taught them basic skills in a field that is increasingly in demand.

Similarly, the “Place making” workshop opened up the students’ eyes to another art form quickly gaining popularity in an increasingly urban world. “Place making” is a tool used in Street Art, which helps you create the art by conceptualizing how it connects and interacts to the public space you are using. Students were shown tutorials on how to create Street Art and enjoyed painting the walls.

Dror truly is a place for the academically minded, socially conscious, artistic student who wants to explore all the facets of Judaism, and life itself, in a challenging, encouraging and friendly environment.

Learn more about Naale Elite Academy’s network of free high school programs in Israel here.