Israel's Elite Academy Program sent 15 girls to the Chabad-Lubavitch Beth Rivkah High School in Kfar Chabad, where they will learn for at least a year. Organizers of the initiative – whose affiliated program Naaleh began in 1992 as an effort to bring teenagers from the former Soviet Union for high school study in Israel and this year sponsored some 440 students from Europe, South America and Australia – hope the students who are participating in the programs will ultimately finish their educations in Israel.

Sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Education and the Jewish Agency, the Elite and Naaleh programs – Naaleh also sent girls to Beth Rivkah – are designed to teach students about Israel, its language and culture in schools that excel academically, maintain strong connections between students, teachers and other staff, and have top-notch facilities.

The 60 Elite students underwent rigorous testing and analysis by staff in the United States. The program covers tuition, room and board, and travel expenses; it also provides pocket money in Israel.

"They all share the same thing in common: They have ahavat eretz yisrael [love for the Land of Israel], they all grew up knowing that Israel is the place to be, they definitely understand Israel," said Elie Klein, the U.S.-based director of Elite, of the Beth Rivkah contingent. "They are very motivated and are very good students."