Frequently Asked Questions

Boarding school provides an education that is holistic in approach and a setting which takes advantage of a 24/7 academic, social, and spiritual environment. Students live and study on a campus where every interaction inside and outside of the classroom is a learning opportunity. We provide our students with a dynamic community where they feel safe. This gives students the confidence to seek new adventures and challenges to grow independently, to explore and to discover their personal path to success surrounded by mentors and peers. Students at the Academy have come from 31 states and 36 countries providing a unique opportunity to make friendships with Jewish students from around the globe. No other Jewish school can provide this experience. Statistics prove that students at boarding schools spend more time dedicated to their studies, are better prepared for college and find the academic environment far more challenging and rewarding than their contemporaries at public or private day schools. Our graduates are accepted to top colleges and universities; are well prepared to make the transition, and thrive especially in the areas of independent living, leadership, managing one’s personal finances and time, research, organization, and academic performance. These important life skills are honed by boarding and day students alike while at the Academy.

The Academy’s foundation rests upon three distinct pillars, all of which form a unique curriculum. At the Academy, we are committed to providing every student with the best formal, informal and experiential learning opportunities available. Our program consists of:

A rigorous college preparatory curriculum: The academic program at the American Hebrew Academy is modeled after the best private, secular, and Jewish educational institutions. Our classroom design is unmatched by any other school. Every class requires active, hands-on learning; we utilize the Socratic method of learning to engage every student in challenging discourse. The average classroom student-teacher ratio is 12:1. The innovative dual curriculum emphasizes exceptional college prep, advanced placement, and early college courses together with an enriched program of Jewish education to inspire our diverse Jewish student body.

A vibrant Jewish residential community that caters to Jewish students of all backgrounds: The American Hebrew Academy provides its students with the experience of living and learning with a large group of Jewish teenagers from around the world. Students come from a broad tapestry of Jewish families, and from across socio-economic classes. We welcome Modern Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, Humanistic, secular, and the unaffiliated. On our campus, all students find a community that’s unlike any they have experienced before. For students, the campus is a home away from home. As an international school, we offer a community of many cultures, languages and the opportunity to build friendships around the globe in a safe and nurturing environment.

Experiential Learning through Active Engagement & Travel: All Academy students participate in community service programs on and off campus, Jewish life programming, and our annual hosting of the Special Olympics and sponsorship of Mitzvah Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day activities. Students travel to Washington, D.C., Charleston, South Carolina, and spend ten weeks in Israel in what can only be described as a life changing experience. Students also have the option to travel to West Virginia to ski, Poland and Israel for the March of the Living program, the AIPAC Conference in Washington, D.C., National Moot Beit Din Competition, the cooper basketball Invitational in Memphis, Tennessee, and the C-Teen Shabbaton in New York City.

The Academy is a non-denominational school that welcomes Jewish students of all backgrounds. We are a community of “one” that values respect for all Jews. We are the only Jewish school that is open 24/7 – that is to say as a boarding school, we incorporate Jewish life and practice into all that we do including the celebration of Shabbat and the Jewish holidays during the school year. We accomplish this by creating multiple ways in which all in our community can feel connected and respected without concern that their personal relationship with God will be in jeopardy. You can’t experience this at other Jewish day schools which are closed for Shabbat and the Jewish holidays. During Pesach, Winter and Summer vacation, the Academy is in recess so students can return home to their families. We offer Orthodox and Egalitarian Minyanim and multiple options to celebrate Shabbat as one chooses.

The American Hebrew Academy offers a full range of college preparatory Advanced Placement, college level and advanced college courses for college credit through our dual enrollment program. Our diverse faculty has taught all over the world and are committed to working closely with every student. Many teachers have spent more than 25 years in the classroom; 67% of our faculty hold master’s degrees or national certification, and 32% hold doctoral degrees. The one-of-a-kind classroom environment and teaching methodology sets the Academy apart from all other schools. Desks have been replaced by learning tables where peer to peer learning is emphasized and teachers serve as discussion leaders, facilitators and mentors; not just lecturers. The physical classroom design assures small class sizes and attention to each student.

The structure of our curriculum is based on 80% general studies courses and 20% Judaic studies ranging from traditional to contemporary and non-religious topics of Jewish interest such as Israel current events and culture. The goal of the Academy’s Jewish Studies curriculum is to assure every student has a foundation of Jewish knowledge to guide them beyond their years at the Academy. The Academy’s philosophy is to educate, engage, and empower Jewish youth to become tomorrow’s leaders. For students with little previous Jewish education, we instill knowledge, skills and Jewish values. For the more advanced student, our goal is to challenge and guide them towards a path of higher learning in areas of Jewish thought and study that most interests them.

Our extensive Jewish Studies program utilizes the same pedagogical methodologies found in our general studies program. The curriculum covers the spectrum of Jewish thought including: Jewish History, Bible, Talmud, Comparative Judaism, Mishnah, ritual and life skills, Hasidism, Jewish Ethics, Israel Advocacy, Comparative Religions, and other elective classes. At the Academy, every student takes two Jewish Studies courses per trimester – or six courses a year. Students develop a solid foundation in basic concepts of Jewish law, philosophy, history, and ethics. They also gain the skills they need to study classical Jewish texts. Through elective courses, students develop synagogue skills, enabling them to feel comfortable in leadership roles in a wide variety of synagogue settings. The faculty seeks every opportunity to integrate the Jewish Studies program into the general studies curriculum. We believe in the proven benefits students receive who have matriculated
in a dual curriculum environment.

Most American Hebrew Academy students study Hebrew each year. We teach Hebrew as a world language, not only as religious text. Hebrew is the language of our people and its continuity forms part of our mission. Different courses of Hebrew instruction accommodate students at all levels, from those who are just beginning in the language to those who have already achieved fluency. Electives in other foreign languages are also offered based on student interest, with Spanish and Arabic being the most popular. Students with Hebrew proficiency at Level III or higher may choose to continue their Hebrew language studies or select other courses of study in their preferred subject of interest.

Technology is integrated into every student’s academic experience. The entire campus is wireless. Each student receives a tablet laptop computer on which they may type, handwrite and draw as their circumstances and inclination determines. Each classroom is equipped with a SMART Board, an Elmo document reader, video camera and multimedia access, including Israeli TV. Our science labs offer advanced technology linking digital microscopes and a variety of measurement instruments to student computers for viewing, data recording, analysis and charting. Students and teachers also use this technology for distance learning and to collaborate on lessons, projects, and assignments using applications that allow for sharing and working on content together, whether in the same classroom or via the Internet. Every classroom is designed to integrate the latest technology with learning and each year technology is re-evaluated to maintain the Academy’s “cutting edge” technological environment.

Our unique classroom design was created to enhance learning. Within the classrooms, an atmosphere conducive to individualized attention is fostered by teachers who have the time and dedication to give every student the coaching they need. Each student has a faculty advisor to assist with academic scheduling and other issues. Residential staff and teachers are on hand Sunday through Thursday during Z’man Limud (our evening study time) to help students with homework. Departmental tutorials are held at designated times and private tutors can also be arranged through the Academic office. Seminars to advance study skills and independent learning and organization are also provided. The Academy does not accept Individual Education Plans (IEP) but some accommodations may be granted on a case-by-case basis, particularly for those students requiring additional time for examinations and/or the use of technology to assist them.

Yes. The American Hebrew Academy is committed to making this extraordinary experience available to a limited number of qualified students. Our financial aid program follows the guidelines of the School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS) in Princeton, New Jersey, and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). This program is available to U.S. and international students. Amounts awarded each year are established by the Board of Trustees and the Financial Aid Committee. In addition to financial aid, a limited number of merit and need-based scholarships are provided annually. For parents who are rabbis or employed on a full time basis in Jewish communal work, a generous one-third tuition discount is offered. Various payment plans and financing are also available to help families afford an Academy education. Minimum payment levels are required of all families receiving financial aid. Circumstances of financial hardship will be reviewed on a case by case basis and as scholarship funds allow. For more information, contact our Financial Services Office at 336-217-7063.

College counseling begins on a student’s first day at our school when we launch introductory courses to teach students how to succeed academically while living independently. All new students are also enrolled in the Technology, Resources, and Integrity (TRI) course to introduce the wide range of Academy resources available to support students.  SAT/ACT preparation is integrated into the English and math curriculum. The College and Career Counseling Office and faculty work closely with students and families to identify colleges that fit students’ interests, ambitions, talents and budget. We utilize the Naviance software program to help families manage their student’s college application portfolio and provide webinars to assist in navigating this program. Our seniors have been accepted to a myriad of prestigious universities. Each year, our alumni earn millions of dollars in merit scholarships. Our college counselors have extensive experience in helping guide students and families through the maze of options for financial assistance to pay for college.

We seek to enroll Jewish students in grades 9 – 12* who are academically motivated, socially engaged, and want to learn more about their Jewish heritage and identity. Admission is based on academic merit, extracurricular activities, standardized test scores, the student’s personal character, and an on-campus interview with both the student and his/her parents or guardians.* Each prospective student is required to complete an online application and submit school transcripts and references from teachers. Additional references are welcome as is the submission of other materials such as portfolios, videos or special projects the applicant has created.

*Applicants wishing to enter after 10th grade are encouraged and will be considered on a case by case basis, with strong consideration given to the applicant’s ability to meet Academy graduation requirements. For international families, interviews may be conducted by video conference. The Academy also offers a post graduate 13th year high school pre-college program for students age 19 or younger who seek an additional year of study prior to entering university.

Designed by renowned architect Aaron Green, former protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright, our buildings are strikingly beautiful with natural lighting and emphasis on environmental design. Buildings are integrated into their surroundings with care taken to preserve the natural landscape. Each building is clad in Jerusalem stone, connecting our community to the history, culture, and traditions of Eretz Yisrael. Our geothermal energy exchange system is one of the largest in the world– heating and cooling the buildings on campus by means of alternative energy to help preserve our natural resources. Our campus is located on 100 beautiful lakefront acres (40 hectares) in Greensboro, North Carolina. Our commitment to environmentalism and sustainability has earned the Academy prestigious recognition including the “Green Ribbon” designation by the U.S. Department of Education – the only Jewish school in the United States to receive this honor.

Greensboro is the home of Academy founders, Chico Sabbah z”l and Zmira Sabbah. It is the smallest community in the United States to offer a pre-K-12 Jewish education. As reported by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “A list of North America’s 10 most vibrant, innovative and generous Jewish communities might well include Greensboro, North Carolina.” Greensboro is located 70 miles from the state capital of Raleigh and 90 miles from Charlotte. Greensboro is known for its natural beauty, and is easily accessible by plane, train or car. Greensboro’s Jewish community of 1,000 families is actively engaged in religious life, funding of Jewish and secular projects, education, and community service. It offers residents and visitors a Conservative synagogue, a Reform temple, an Orthodox Chabad House, and counts 13 rabbis among its residents, 5 of whom teach at the Academy.

Students live, two to a room, in beautiful, modern residences built to accommodate 18-22 students. Each room has two beds, dressers, wardrobes, desks, and wireless network access. Each student home includes a 2,500 square-foot residence for house parents and an efficiency apartment for assistant house parents. The student homes also have lounges, a bistro where students can prepare snacks and visit with friends, a laundry room and large bathrooms.

Students are given every opportunity to explore extracurricular interests by participating in existing clubs or developing new ones. Extracurricular activities have included: a campus TV station, school newspaper, literary magazine, rock climbing, kayaking, Gardens of Israel, movie-making, lifeguard training and certification, individual instruction in piano and guitar, martial arts, yoga, a rock band, an acappella group, cooking, photography, social justice, Chesed and home hospitality for the aged, The Four Corner Tzedakah Fund and the Chabad Friendship Circle for children with special needs. Students are encouraged and supported in doing community service, mitzvoth and chesed activities throughout Greensboro. The student-run Tzedakah Fund provides members with direct responsibility for leadership of a non-profit organization. Saturday night and Sunday events include dances, comedy nights, concerts, book club gatherings, open microphone night, the Academy coffeehouse, Israeli programming, tikkun olam projects, and off-campus trips to local movies, museums, restaurants, sporting and cultural events, shopping, hiking, sports events, and community service projects.

Our 88,000 square-foot athletic center is the premier high school facility in the Southeast. It includes an indoor pool, basketball, volleyball and racquetball courts, rock climbing walls, a fitness and weight-training room, and a multi-purpose room for martial arts, swing dancing, Zumba, Pilates, yoga, and a variety of other health and fitness programs. Outdoor facilities include a state-of-the-art track, lighted tennis courts, soccer, baseball and softball fields. The campus boat house with its fleet of kayaks and sailboats allows students to use the 22-acre lake for recreation and is home to the annual Spring Faculty-Student Naval Warfare Super Soaker Competition! As part of the Academy’s commitment to fostering vibrant athletes, good sportsmanship and continued wellness, each student at the Academy takes part on an athletic team or in a fitness program.

The Academy is a member of the prestigious Triad Athletic Conference (TAC), which is part of the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association (NCISAA). Our conference competes in the following sports for boys and girls: Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball (girls), Baseball (boys), Softball (girls), Track and Field, Swimming, Cross Country, Tennis, Golf and Wrestling (boys) based upon student demand. The Academy is home to All Conference, All State, Academic All American, Olympic Youth Development Team awarded athletes and NCAA Division 1, 2 and 3 collegiate scholarship recipients in basketball, soccer and swimming.

Every student is assigned an advisor and house parent to support their academic, extracurricular, and residential experiences, as well as their social and emotional needs. Our advisors, teachers and school counselor are “teenage” experts, so their attention to students extends far beyond the classroom. They live next door, eat meals with students, attend services, supervise nightly study time, chaperone weekend trips off campus, and sponsor extracurricular activities.

Senior faculty members serving as house parents, along with their families, live in spacious apartments that are a part of the student residences. On any given night, you will find students getting advice on school matters or eating freshly baked cookies prepared by their houseparent. Junior faculty members of the Academy Fellowship program live down the hall from students and play the role of resident advisors and mentors. Each house has a Madrich or Madricha (prefect) from our senior class who serve as a peer counselor. The Academy prides itself on having created a supportive community of adults who mentor and nurture students and who imbue Jewish values.

In the event of illness, the American Hebrew Academy has a fully equipped and staffed Student Health Center. Our Health Center Director and team of nurses treat minor illnesses, administer medication, and offer wellness advice. The Student Health Center is open seven days a week, and there is always a Registered Nurse on call 24 hours a day. If a student needs additional medical attention or an appointment with a doctor, the Student Health Center staff will coordinate appointments and provide transportation to local physicians with whom the American Hebrew Academy has an established relationship. Routine visits to the orthodontist or dermatologist are quite common for teens and easily managed by our Health Center staff.

Thanks to the tablet computer given to every student, which includes a built-in camera for Skype calls, you and your child will be able to communicate via e-mail and live video anywhere on our wireless campus. In addition, students are encouraged to carry cell phones. Parents have access to PowerSchool, a website where parents are able to review their children’s grades, assignments, attendance and any teacher comments. Parents also receive an emailed midterm and trimester academic report, residential life reports and various newsletters, video profiles and a summary of the coming week’s activities. Parents are encouraged to communicate directly with their child’s houseparent, advisor, teachers and college counselor on a regular basis. The Academy views the education and care of students as a partnership with parents and encourages ongoing communication to best serve the student.

HaMadrich, our Student-Parent Handbook, outlines our code of conduct and tier system for disciplinary violations. Parents and students also sign an ethical covenant, B’rit Hitnahagut, which addresses issues of respect, honor, citizenship, justice, caring, and holiness. Advisors, house parents, faculty members and the school counselor are all proactive in their attempt to deal with issues before they become problems. The American Hebrew Academy has a zero-tolerance policy towards alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. A first offense for any use, possession or distribution of alcohol, smoking, illegal drugs or intentional abuse of over the counter and prescription medications, will result in a mandatory suspension. A second offense will result in expulsion. Students health and safety is of the utmost concern and for that reason, the administration enforces school policy rigorously, but with compassion, fairness, and diligence. The community standards established by the Academy reflect the mission of the school and the character of students it wishes to enroll and graduate.

The American Hebrew Academy is a non profit corporation chartered in accordance with IRS regulation 501(C)3 and has adopted policies and best practices to assure transparency and the public’s confidence in its operations. The Academy provides its IRS Form 990 (Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax) and all applicable schedules to the public through this link: American Hebrew Academy IRS Form 990.

Great effort has been undertaken to make the American Hebrew Academy a safe and secure environment for your child. Our security system was created by Israeli security experts. The Academy is a gated and guarded community. Greensboro and private police officers and our security directors monitor the campus 24 hours a day.

Thanks to the generous support of a single benefactor, Chico Sabbah z”l, the American Hebrew Academy was established in 2001. Tuition, fees, and ongoing donations are required to support school operations. As a private Jewish school, the American Hebrew Academy does not receive government funding and depends on tuition and charitable gifts to fund current operations, scholarships, future construction, and its endowment. We are a fully licensed non-profit entity and thank you in advance for considering a gift to the Academy to assure we can support every qualified student who seeks an Academy education. Numerous options to donate to the annual fundraising campaign are available in order to support the institution.

Continue to explore our website, contact the Office of Admissions at (336) 217-7070, or e-mail us at info@americanhebrewacademy.org.