Jerusalem — The founder of the high school in Israel program has died.
Rabbi Morris Kipper, who founded in 1972 the Alexander Muss High School in Israel, died at his home in Miami. He was 79.
The long-time resident of Miami founded the school with his wife Lenore and in partnership with the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.
Initially designed as a program for Miami-area students in order to boost interest and attachment to the country during formative teenage years, its popularity caused organizers to open it up to students from throughout North America.
The program has over 20,000 alumni.
“Rabbi Kipper’s legacy of commitment to Jewish education and the land and people of Israel will be realized through the thousands more young students who will participate in the program in the years to come, all made possible through Kipper’s unique vision and understanding for the needs of the modern Jewish community” Gideon Shavit, CEO of the Muss high school, said.
The son of an Orthodox rabbi and a kosher caterer, Kipper received rabbinic ordination in Cincinnati and then worked as a rabbi in Temple Beth Shalom in Peabody, Mass., before joining Temple Judea in Coral Gables in 1964, where he also taught in its weekly religious school. His experience in teaching there led him to design the more intense high school in Israel program, according to the Miami Herald.
Kipper resigned from the high school program in 1990, and held several rabbinic positions until his death.
He and his wife visited the school in June of this year.