Connecting Colorado’s Jewish Teens

AMHSI-JNF Announces New Mountain States Impact Fellowship

amhsi cover new england photo


Imagine being in Israel floating in the Dead Sea, climbing to the top of Masada, winding through Jerusalem’s Old City, savoring the flavors of falafel, hummus, and shawarma, making lifelong friends from all over the world, all while keeping up with your studies and not missing any school credits.  Alexander Muss High School in Israel (AMHSI-JNF), is seeking outstanding candidates for the 2018 Mountain States Impact Fellowship an all expenses (except for airfare) paid 8 week session in Israel beginning September 12, 2018 – November 9, 2018. 


“My journey at AMHSI has been an experience that I will never forget. I have made new friends, seen new places and learned new things that I will carry with me for the rest of my life,” said a recent participant. 


Teens with a sense of adventure who want to not only travel to Israel, but who are also looking to develop leadership  skills and values to inspire leadership should apply for this once in a lifetime opportunity.  AMHSI-JNF prepares teens for life on college campuses and beyond, all the while making friends and memories that will last a lifetime. Upon returning home, the students share their AMHSI experiences through a variety of activities including at their high school, their synagogue, camp friends, and thinking ahead to their college campus and beyond.


The Alexander Muss High School in Israel is designed to provide an intense encounter with Israel—without losing any ground academically.  AMHSI implements a curriculum that addresses the students’ home academic needs while providing an extensive introduction to the history, culture, and civilization of Israel from the Middle Bronze Age or Biblical period through present day.  Not only do students earn high school credit, students can earn six college credits as well!  During the 8-week session, the country becomes the classroom and students plunge into living history. AMHSI’s educators are passionate about history as they become the students’ mentors, inspiring them to live outside the books, encounter new ideas, and challenge themselves in infinite ways.   For more information please contact Jeff Hast, or Dana Gerbie Klein, or 212-472-9300 x484

Using Creative Thinking to Change the World, by Sophie G.



Innovators change our world. They confront something that is not working and fix it. The process of innovation has been used throughout history and all over the world, in varying degrees and with different purposes. My first journey into innovation involved creating the Grav-WASH-ity. The development of this idea began while I was sitting in my home, simply thinking about everyday luxuries that I take for granted. Upon discovering that the ability to clean my clothes fits this description, I decided to innovate. Building upon a concept with which I was already familiar, a washing machine, I created something that no one had before.

The Grav-WASH-ity is a gravity-powered washing machine designed for use in developing countries where people lack access to electricity. The design is safe, durable, and reliable, and is made from accessible materials in order to make it both economically and environmentally viable. The Grav-WASH-ity is also scalable, meaning that many machines can be powered by one source of gravity. Therefore, it can be used by a whole community, rather than individual people or families. This will promote the creation of a business enterprise in the community to encouraging economic involvement from the community members.

Last summer, I received a U.S patent for the Grav-WASH-ity from the U.S.Patent and Trademark Office. This patent gives me exclusive rights over the idea I created. Now, I am working to improve the prototype of the machine in order to make it more efficient. Next, I plan to create a global network of people interested in using the machine in communities all over the world. This will allow me to pilot the Grav-WASH-ity internationally and consequently achieve my business-enterprise goal.

In the past year, I worked to build an enterprise to support my invention by participating in PresenTense Colorado. A Jewish fellowship for young entrepreneurs, PresenTense supports the idea that, “The power of innovation knows no age limits.” It is a 6-month program that teaches empathy, innovation, and social change, all while focusing on a set of Jewish values. Members learn how to conduct empathy interviews, research target markets, innovate for social change, and explore their Jewish identities. At the end of the 6 month period, Fellows apply for up to $1,000 to support their projects. I applied for and received this money, and I plan to use it to for global outreach and prototype improvement of the Grav-WASH-ity.

The PresenTense Fellowship concluded in May with the Fellow Showcase. During the showcase, community members are invited to see what the Fellows have been working on. We each got the opportunity to speak to the crowd for one minute about our project, and then explained our booths to people in more detail. Nearly 200 people came to the Showcase this year, and each left inspired by the projects they saw.

Not only is innovation possible, it’s a core concept as humanity grapples with challenges, big and small. With the desire to step out of line, to say “hey, that’s not working,” and to question the world around you, the ability to improve upon it becomes inherently accessible. This process spans time, location, and age. It can be accomplished by anyone with a desire to advocate and work for change.

Do you have a great idea for a social innovation project? Learn more about PresenTense here.

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