Mar 24, 2020
JNF On Demand: Live challah bake with JNF first lady Lauren Lizerbram
We were welcomed into the Lizerbram kitchen for a challah bake.
By Jewish National Fund
Mar 19, 2020
Coronavirus, from a Jewish perspective: When it comes to good deeds, just do it
At JNF, our inspirational leaders and donors have once again proven their "willingness to act."
By Yossi Kahana
Feb 21, 2020
Singer-songwriter Peter Himmelman: Jewish unity should come from love, not fear
Successfully passing Jewish values on to the next generation requires our children receive a message that soars well beyond mere victimhood.
By Peter Himmelman
Dec 1, 2014 By Jewish National Fund Category: Education,
What do Facebook exec Sheryl Sandberg and singer Matisyahu have in common?
And she's far from the only big-name alum of the JNF-supported international study-abroad program for high schoolers.
Award-winning Hasidic rapper and alternative-rock singer/songwriter Matthew "Matisyahu" Miller went there. So did film director and producer Brett Ratner, who's best known for the "Rush Hour" series, "The Family Man," and "X-Men: the Last Stand." Seen the "Hunger Games" movies? Another Muss alum, Debra Zane, cast them. Novelist Lauren Weisberger, best known for "The Devil Wears Prada," spent time on the Hod Hasharon campus as well.
Muss alum have also risen the ranks of Jewish communal life. Hotels.com co-founder Robert Diener serves on many boards, including AIPAC, Hasbara Fellowships, the National Board of Directors of Israeli Bonds, HonestReporting, and Aish HaTorah International. Lawyer Wayne Firestone heads the Genesis Fund, which aims to enhance the Jewish identity of young people. He formerly served as president and CEO of Hillel.
How did attending Muss impact these prominent alumni?
Musician and Muss alum Matisyahu's most recent album,
"Akeda." He sings about Judaism and Israel often.
"AMHSI definitely reinforced my connection to Israel and Judaism," Barokas was quoted as saying in a recent alumni profile by Yael Tamar on the AMHSI blog. "You know how most Jewish teens have this ephemeral connection to their Jewish identity, and once they actually see Israel for themselves and experience the history of the Jewish people, this connection is reinforced 1,000 times over. That’s what AMHSI has done for me."
Barokas started a company, AdMeld, an exchange platform for advertisers and publishers that he turned from a two-person operation into a corporation with more than 150 offices worldwide. Google acquired the company in 2011 for $400 million, integrating AdMeld's “best features into [a Google’s product,] DoubleClick Ad Exchange,” according to a Google blog.
Some 22,000 international high school juniors and seniors have spent time at AMHSI since 1972. Following his stint at the school, Barokas attended Virginia Tech and got a graduate degree from the University of Hawaii. After grad school, he returned to Israel. First he lived on Kibbutz Revivim in the Negev and then started an Internet cafe in Tel Aviv. Barokas still visits Israel three to four times a year.