July 27, 2023: The Union for Reform Judaism is proud to announce the hiring of Rabbi Orli Moss as its new director of the Heller High School program in Israel. Rabbi Moss, a renowned leader and educator with extensive experience educating and connecting young Jews to Israel, assumed the position in early July. Under her tenure, she will continue to enhance the Heller program, granting students an unparalleled educational experience that strengthens and deepens their understanding and relationship to Israel and Judaism through a Reform lens.
"We are thrilled to welcome Rabbi Moss, an accomplished and dynamic Reform Jewish leader, to direct Heller High,” said Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism. “Rabbi Moss has dedicated her exemplary career to connecting Reform Jewish teens across the world to Israel, notably under her lengthy tenure with the Jewish Agency for Israel, and we look forward to welcoming her insights and expertise to our Heller High program. We are confident that, under her stewardship, our Heller program will grow and thrive and will continue to provide our teens an eminent and life changing educational and religious experience.”
Rabbi Moss has held positions of leadership in a variety of education organizations in the United States and Israel, including Director of the Netzer Shnat program and Director of the Raphael Recanati International School at IDC-Herzliya. In 2012, Moss and her family moved to New York City where, as emissary for the Jewish Agency for Israel, she opened the department for Israeli engagement at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun. Returning to Israel, Moss worked as a consultant and advisor for the Meitarim network of schools, working with teachers to adapt Jewish content to meet the needs of their students and communities. More recently Moss worked as a pedagogical consultant for the Global School Twinning Network and as the interim Educational Director for the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Community Shlichut Department. She received her bachelor’s degree from Hebrew University in sociology and anthropology and her master’s in Jewish pluralistic education in a joint program from Hebrew University and Hebrew Union College. She was ordained at HUC-JIR in Jerusalem in 2021.
“I’m delighted to join the URJ to help build upon the extraordinary legacy of the Heller High program for Reform Jewish teens in Israel," said Rabbi Moss. “I am deeply honored to be entrusted with the Reform Jewish experience and education for our Heller students and look forward to guiding them on their journey to build an independent relationship with Israel.”
With over 3,500 alumni since its founding in 1961, URJ Heller High has been providing a meaningful Jewish learning, spiritual experiences, personal growth, and academic success for Reform Jewish youth. Beginning in Fall 2023, the Heller program will take place on the Muss campus in Hod Hashron under the URJ’s new partnership with Jewish National Fund-USA’s Alexander Muss High School in Israel. Under this partnership, Heller students will enjoy the extensive student-centered campus by being located on the Muss campus while continuing to experience a unique and powerful Reform Jewish experience.
“Since 1961, the semester-long Heller High program has been a life changing experience for thousands of members of our Reform Jewish community,” said Michelle Shapiro Abraham, the Union for Reform Judaism’s executive director of strategic innovation and program for camps, youth & immersives. “We are excited and honored to welcome Rabbi Moss to the helm to ensure all our future students will have the same opportunity to strengthen, through learning and experience, their connection to Judaism, the Jewish people, and the Jewish state.”
The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) represents a vibrant network of nearly 850 Reform synagogues across North America, which foster serious Jewish learning, sacred community, and prophetic justice. As the central address for this congregational network, the URJ speaks on behalf of the entire Reform Movement on a wide range of topics ranging from Jewish observance and ritual, community relations, social justice and much more.