Educational Institutions

AMIT Children

aka AMIT Children

New York, NY


AMIT enables Israel's youth to realize their potential and strengthens Israeli society by educating and nurturing children from diverse backgrounds within a framework of academic excellence, religious values, and Zionist ideals. The AMIT network of schools is located in 29 cities throughout Israel.

Ruling Year


Principal Officer

Mr. Andrew Goldsmith

Main Address

817 Broadway

New York, NY 10003 USA


Innovative education for children in Israel, Closing the opportunity gap in Israel, Bagrut exam rates 85%, education for disadvantaged, poor, and immigrant children





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Secondary/High School (B25)

Secondary/High School (B25)

Public, Society Benefit - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (W99)

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Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

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Qualitative Bagrut

Ellen’s Kids


Services for Children in Foster Care

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Charting Impact

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With a long history of empowering Israeli children to integrate into all walks of life, AMIT recognizes the disparity that exists among the quality and level of education historically offered immigrants, low-income, and disadvantaged students in Israel, as well as the educational gender disparities historically provided to female students. Fostering social change by addressing these issues, AMIT enables and encourages Israel's youth to realize their potential, strengthening Israeli society by educating and nurturing students from diverse backgrounds reducing educational gender and socioeconomic inequalities within AMIT's framework of academic excellence.

AMIT places a strong focus on educating marginalized students in peripheral areas. Among many of our lowest income and surrogate youth village residents, AMIT's holistic program encourages positive changes in attitudes, values, academic skills, and social behavior. AMIT is committed to reducing the cycle of poverty among schoolchildren coming from the lowest socio-economic strata in Israel, especially those children who are at a particularly high risk of dropping out of school, alcohol or drug abuse, or having major difficulties with social integration and lack strong role models and guidance. Providing positive relationships with teachers and mentors, AMIT allows students to gain a stronger connection to their school environment and community, increase school readiness skills and literacy, improve school attendance and academic performance, and decrease behavioral issues in school. AMIT has recently expanded programming for immigrant families who wish to become more involved in their children's education, engaging them in becoming active partners encouraging a wider systemic change.

AMIT continues to cultivate academically strong and professionally trained students giving our vocational school graduates a competitive edge in the marketplace while offering an alternative to their community's depressed economic situation. AMIT's impact is sustained far beyond graduation; financial independence in our graduates' future.

Established in 1925, AMIT, an American-based organization, continues to play a critical role in assisting Israeli students in 29 cities through our growing network of schools, surrogate homes, and vocational training programs. Our students become better equipped to face financial challenges, secure occupational success, and attain senior ranks. AMIT's goals are to prepare graduates with the tools to access and achieve economic, cultural and social prosperity in their future, empowering graduates with the skills necessary to become highly regarded leaders later in their chosen vocations and communal lives.

The AMIT Network is responsible for 28,000 children in 110 programs located throughout Israel. With three quarters of our students coming from disadvantaged backgrounds having faced challenges educationally, financially, or psychologically, our highest priority is to educate students with no child left behind because of economic needs, background, learning challenges, physical or emotional disabilities. AMIT enables all students to realize their potential while downplaying the dichotomy in their backgrounds.

A precursor to securing academic success upon graduation in Israel is the successful completion of Bagrut matriculation exams. AMIT's program, Project 80, was designed to improve crucial matriculation test scores by providing individualized educational guidance, counseling services, homework assistance, and tutoring to students. In the past three years, AMIT has continued to increase Bagrut scores: 80% of our students across our network in Project 80 passes and score top grades, higher than the passing national average of 52%.

Throughout peripheral towns, many of AMIT's schools offer high level science and technology courses in an enriching, academically challenging, and fully integrated environment to students from varying backgrounds. In taking the steps to build a more diverse Israeli workforce in science, engineering and technology, AMIT has introduced digitized learning into nearly 25 of our classrooms since 2011 through our TopTech Initiative. TopTech has also been integrated among several of our girls' schools. Many of our AMIT young women graduates now enroll in university courses traditionally geared towards their male counterparts. AMIT's goal is to be part of the movement raising the Israeli national average of 15% of young women employed in math, science, industrial and technological fields to over 30% within the next three years.

Among our surrogate youth residences, AMIT offers high school graduates a continuum of care in our Junior College and vocational programs helping them avoid their family's continuance of dependence on government subsidies. By ensuring long term economic stability via education, AMIT uses varying approaches to build skills. AMIT recognizes that while demographic and socio-economic variables contribute modestly to students' well-being in non-troubled school environs, among our at-risk student population, subjective well-being in the school-context has a greater impact on positive self-fulfillment and future professional choices.

Dr. Mor Deshen, AMIT's Deputy Director of Research and Development spearheads many of our initiatives among AMIT's Network, culling best practices from each of our principals and staffers she observes in the field. Dr. Deshen travels to the U.S. and throughout Europe to participate in international conferences on education. Efforts are made to capitalize on the training and pedagogical support already in place throughout the AMIT Network to minimize costs.

AMIT replicates successful initiatives within our network, while on a national level, seeks educational reform in Israel when necessary. AMIT continues to expand our innovative TopTech program, introducing our high school aged students to digitized learning through technology tools in the classroom and a repertoire of advanced curricula. Over 84% of students who participate in TopTech have raised their bagrut test scores while the number of students who specialize in and graduate with majors, in subjects such as mathematics, physics, electronics, biotechnology and engineering has also grown.

AMIT students network wide continue to initiate volunteer projects. Graduates are encouraged to give back in the form of volunteerism, and mentor students from similar disadvantaged backgrounds to ensure long term economic stability within some of our poorest communities.

Through opportunities to work in neighboring businesses, our at-risk vocational school students are encouraged to obtain a diploma and embark on careers in national service pursuant to their academic or vocational studies. Over 95% of AMIT graduates continue on to National Service, a crucial step towards securing employment upon entering the job market in Israel.

Through a wide variety of support and collaborations, AMIT partners closely with the Ministry of Education, while Israeli leaders in government, business, and education often mentor our students. AMIT works in partnership with several universities to provide college level courses and credits to our high school students.

AMIT's Board of Directors has expanded the scope and effectiveness of our network programming. Through a development and finance committee, they continue to leverage funding for some of our most important initiatives. While the Israeli Government and Ministry of Education provide a substantial amount of funds towards the salaries of our school teachers, the total number of staffers in Israel and America including teachers, pedagogical staff, counselors, and maintenance workers is 945 full time paid employees and 847 part time employees. Our 1,150 volunteers also form a strong cadre of operational support. Jointly with the Israeli Ministry of Education, our schools' empirical statistics are documented and examined.

In the past two years, AMIT has undertaken several major capital projects improving existing facilities as needed with funds from the Israeli Government. AMIT has received a variety of awards including the 2013 Jerusalem Prize, and the 2013 Ruderman Family Prize for the inclusion of children with disabilities and education toward tolerance in Israel. Matching funds from the Weinberg Foundation were recently awarded for construction to renovate our Kfar Blatt Youth Residence in Petach Tikva in 2014.

AMIT has long focused on leveling the educational field in providing a quality education for children from low incomes or at-risk homes. Many of our students are from vulnerable populations; parents of some students may be unemployed or immigrant parents, hard pressed to support their children's academic pursuits. Our philosophy is not only to stimulate systemic change for the betterment of our student body, but to also enrich and educate parents as first educators and positive role models. With the implementation of AMIT's Project 80, parents have moved from taking a passive stance to becoming an active partner in their child's education
AMIT encourages students to develop leadership capabilities. Our vocational programming offer graduates an alternative to their community's depressed economic situation. Social conditions have a definitive effect on our students but students discover that socioeconomic status can be improved. Results will be a pioneering group of graduates having a wider choice of employment and educational opportunities better prepared to meet contemporary financial and emotional challenges.
While AMIT assesses overall effectiveness using the logic model tool, to date, quantifiable evaluation metrics include the increase in graduates securing meaningful employment, the increase in the number of students passing Bagrut matriculation exams, and the expansion of AMIT's TopTech initiative. Questionnaires and informal surveys given to students with interim conclusions assist to design and augment the qualitative and quantitative aspects of AMIT's programming. Focus groups made up of students and teachers study strengths and weaknesses with classroom observations also taking place. Evaluating formatively, questionnaires are issued to students to assess the effectiveness of programs with results distributed to key stakeholders. Necessary programmatic modifications are made to ensure sustainability focusing on the summative costs for the continuation of certain programs with alternative options in place for cutting costs.
Our achievements are evident as AMIT continues to replicate successful initiatives; reviews best practices at the culmination of each school year; increases female enlistment and National Service participation percentages; reduces gender disparities by empowering young women to enroll in engineering, mechanical, and robotics courses; and increases the number of local businesses that employ vocational students. Our growing student body reflects the diversity of AMIT's network and encourages wider systemic change in the delivery of our programming to at-risk youth.
Through media exposure, publicity, and outreach efforts, the number of traditionally unrepresented students enrolled in a full repertoire of vocational and leadership courses have increased. Network wide, AMIT's student enrollment rate and # of schools have more than doubled in the past 10 years from 11,000 students to over 28,000 today in 2014.

Several years ago, addressing the high incidence of poverty among the Ultra Orthodox community, AMIT began a program offering Haredi youth basic reading and math skills as well as vocational training. In the past two years, this program has expanded to 3 cities with hundreds of students taking basic secular courses, learning a trade, and recognizing the need to break the cycle of poverty that has engulfed their community. AMIT continues to foster social change as Haredi students can now continue on in mechanics or computer repair fields and become involved in the civic framework of the State of Israel.

One of our greatest challenges has been the crossing over into technology among many schools, the hesitancy of some principals to allow computers to take the place of textbooks, and the daunting task and financial costs in modernizing our older facilities including two surrogate youth residences.

Encouraging parents in some immigrant or socioeconomically depressed communities to become involved in their children's education has been challenging. In response, AMIT has encouraged smaller groups of parents to become representatives and liaisons. Workshops help parents understand our holistic and proactive approach while teaching them how to support their children. Several of AMIT's schools run after-school programming which serves as a parallel to safe and welcoming community centers in peripheral neighborhoods.

A difficult financial fundraising environment has not deterred us from continuing to develop innovative programming. If funding for new initiatives may decline, AMIT may need to decrease staff while capitalizing on the trainings and pedagogical support already in place throughout our network minimizing costs in program expansion.

AMIT's 47 member Board of Directors in the U.S. and Israel are actively involved in strategic planning for our programs in Israel. Their leadership requires them to review organizational budgetary items and evaluate each AMIT program ensuring any major initiative achieves the highest results possible.

AMIT also partners with leaders in businesses and government who serve as mentors to our students. AMIT's partnerships with local universities allow students the opportunity to earn partial college credits, while later, graduates are encouraged to apply to university. Assisting students later in life to attain meaningful employment and acceptance to higher learning, 92% of AMIT male high schoolers continue on to National Service after graduating as compared to 74% in Israel's general high school population.

AMIT students from disadvantaged backgrounds who have went through Project 80 have made great strides in their bagrut test scores and are today thriving socially, professionally, and financially, many breaking their family's cycle of poverty, serving as role models to siblings and future classmates in their community.

External Reviews



AMIT Children

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Board Leadership Practices

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


Organizational Demographics

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Diversity Strategies

We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
We have a diversity committee in place
We have a diversity manager in place
We have a diversity plan
We use other methods to support diversity