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AMIT (Hebrew acronym for Organization for Volunteers for Judaism and Torah) is an American Jewish Zionist volunteer organization, dedicated to education in Israel and nurturing Israeli children to become productive, contributing members of society. AMIT operates more than 98 schools and programs providing religious Jewish education while incorporating academic and technological studies.
AMIT was founded on May 10, 1925 by Bessie Gotsfeld, and was then known as the Mizrachi Women's Organization of America. As early as 1934, AMIT was at the forefront of Youth children from Europe and their resettlement in Palestine. In the years ahead, and immediately following the end of the war in Europe, AMIT participated in the resettlement of thousands of children - many of them orphans - who survived the Holocaust.
The survivors of the Holocaust were followed by the large influx of Jews from North Africa and the Arab countries in 1948-49. Again, AMIT's resources were tested as its facilities were flooded by the pressing needs of tens of thousands of newly arrived immigrant children. In 1955, the first contingent of Ethiopian Jews arrived and in the 1970s, the great Russian immigration began. With each new development in Israel's history AMIT responded, opening new schools and facilities to meet the demands of a growing population of children in need.
In 1981, AMIT was designated by the Israeli government as its official Reshet (network) for religious secondary technological education. This landmark event set the stage for a major expansion of AMIT's educational facilities (which continues to this day) as municipalities with faltering school systems seek out AMIT to take over and dramatically improve their local facilities.
Founded in 1925, AMIT operates 108 schools, youth villages, surrogate family residences and other programs, constituting Israel’s only government-recognized network of religious Jewish education incorporating academic and technological studies.
Location of materials for research on AMIT
The American Jewish Historical Society received a large donation of archival material and photographs related to AMIT and the organization's projects in Israel. The collection was minimally processed over the Summer 2011 and is available for research.