Atlanta Couple Make $1 Million Gift to Jewish National Fund-USA’s Alexander Muss High School in Israel

Sheila and Larry Wilensky often discuss how they plan to leave a mark on this world. Ultimately, they decided they wanted their legacy to live on through the next generation, and an irrevocable trust agreement valued at $1 million dollars for Alexander Muss High School in Israel (AMHSI-JNF) was the answer.

Although 2020 has seen its share of trials and tribulations due to the global pandemic,   Alexander Muss High School in Israel allows students to embark on an innovative academic adventure unlike any other, where Israel is transformed into a living classroom. At a time while many students and parents in the U.S. worry about studying in virtual classrooms, a growing number of students are thinking outside the box, and screen, turning a global pandemic into an invaluable learning opportunity by applying study abroad at AMHSI-JNF. Following a series of strict health-safety measures, AMHSI-JNF reopened its doors and welcomed over 100 high school students this fall, and even launched a new gap year program for college students, Frontier Israel.

Longtime Israel advocates and JNF-USA supporters, the Wilenskys have been philanthropically involved with the organization for more than four decades. Sheila was past President of JNF-USA’s Southern Region and Atlanta Board, and a sitting member of the National Board of Trustees for 25 years. Sheila is also the founder of Plant Your Way to Israel, a program that provides grants toward any trip to Israel for participants who fundraise for JNF projects. Today, the Wilenskys divide their time between Atlanta and Palm Beach.

“It’s been an honor to work with Sheila and Larry, who have been valuable leaders and influencers in the Jewish community and spreading the message about the incredible work Jewish National Fund does for the land and people of Israel,” said JNF-USA Executive Director for National Major Donor Relations Glen Schwartz. “During her tenure as Palm Beach Board President, Sheila was focused on educating the community about JNF’s work and was instrumental in fundraising efforts to build new communities in the Negev, like Givot Bar, helping pave the way for population growth in Southern Israel.”

The Wilensky’s gift will help AMHSI-JNF pivot and adapt to the ever-changing realities affecting everyday life, ensuring the campus remains open for all who wish to come to Israel and study. In addition, the main education building is being named “The Sheila and Larry Wilensky Education Center,” to honor Sheila and Larry’s generous gift to the school.

“Jewish National Fund’s strategic mission has always been to ensure a strong, secure, and prosperous future for the land and people of Israel,” said the Wilenskys. “Alexander Muss High School in Israel is a shining example of this mission and the perfect match for our charitable dollars.”

The Wilenskys are proud to leave a legacy that ensures young Jews will maintain a connection with Israel and Judaism. AMHSI-JNF’s mission is to promote, build, and strengthen bonds between youth and Israel through education and experience. A strong understanding, appreciation, and relationship with Israel are vital to developing and fostering Jewish leadership and advocacy in communities worldwide, thereby ensuring the continuity of the Jewish people.

“We want to ensure the education of Jewish children from across the U.S. and from around the world, and for them to learn about life in Israel, its importance as a safe haven, as the Jewish homeland, and as its imperative to exist,” said the Wilenskys. “We have always held Israel in our hearts and this gift is part of our legacy. We believe time spent being educated at Muss will send these boys and girls out into the world with a love of Israel, the land, its people, and all that the country has to offer.”

Thanks to their generous gift, the Wilenskys are the newest members of Jewish National Fund-USA’s World Chairman’s Council, the major donor society for those who give $1 million or more in their lifetime toward a JNF-USA project or program.

For over 45 years, AMHSI-JNF has led the field in providing amazing and transformative Israel study abroad experiences for international high school students. AMHSI-JNF instills in its students a lifelong sense of pride in their Jewish heritage by developing deep-rooted connections to Jewish life, to the Jewish people, and to Israel, and helps prepares our students for academic and independent life in college and beyond.

For more information on Alexander Muss High School in Israel, visit, email, or contact Marnie Nadolne at or 404.236.8990 x854.

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