Semester in Israel

Dear Family and Friends,

I have not had many life-changing experiences – I’m not the kind of person that is easily amazed.  But my recent excursion to Israel with a Jewish youth group transformed my perspective on what is important to me for my life and the role my religion has in it. Israel was amazing in many ways; it was the most beautiful place I’d ever seen.  I’ll never forget the moment I saw the Red sea – it was as blue as vampire blood, or the perfect cloudless sky. And then I see across that beautiful water mountains that are part of Jordan and Egypt, and it is absolutely incredible to be surrounded by so many unique cultures.  Since the moment I came from my trip summer I knew I had to return.

 The Israel experience I am working towards.

URJ Heller High is a high school located in Israel that offers semester programs for North American Students. This means I will spend about 4 months starting January 28th living in a dorm in Israel attending school there. The academic program is very rigorous, and includes focus on Hebrew & Jewish studies. With this amount of time I will be better able to immerse myself in Israeli culture and experience Israel in a whole new way. Along with the time in Israel there are also many amazing fieldtrips like one to Poland to visit Auschwitz, and learn about the holocaust in a way you just cannot in a class setting.

 The cost.

Tuition and boarding for Heller High costs $19,100; with travel fees and other expenses it will be around $21,000 dollars. I have explored multiple scholarship opportunities, and have received generous financial support from my temple and my parents. I’ve applied for financial aid from the school as well.  I have taken a part-time job (20 hours a week making pizza!), with all income going towards the trip. Through all these efforts the majority of the trip will be funded.  However, I am still $3500 short.

Fundraising goal.

I am asking for you to help me fill in the $3500 gap that is currently hindering me from going to Israel and having the experience of a lifetime. Any amount will be immensely helpful and I greatly appreciate all the support I can get.


Thank you all so much for your consideration,

Caleb Ernst.
  • Steven and Tina Ernst 
    • $100 
    • 48 mos
  • Angie Lipscomb 
    • $20 
    • 49 mos
  • Carolyn and Howard Wetzler 
    • $36 
    • 49 mos
  • Shelly Schadick 
    • $25 
    • 49 mos
  • Randy&Tari Donaldson 
    • $100 
    • 49 mos
See all


Michelle Ernst 
Cincinnati, OH
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