Mission and Founders

The realization of an inspired idea.    


More than 30 years ago, a trio of dedicated Zionists set out to bring their ambitious dream to fruition. Raphi Amram (z”l) and Mary Jane and Robert H. Asher wanted to create an interdisciplinary school for educating Israel’s brightest students in the arts and sciences.

In 1981, the three had launched a summer camp program for Israeli high school students talented in the performing arts. Raphi served as Camp Director, Mary Jane was Program Director and Bob raised the money.

Founder Raphi Amram ( z"l)

Founder Raphi Amram (z"l)

Founders Mary Jane and Robert H. Asher

Founders Mary Jane and Robert H. Asher

תמונת בית ספר SCHUSTERMN CAMPUS.jpg

The West's first interdisciplinary school

for high-achieving students in the arts and sciences.

Zohar Dinur Barzilai Head of Science& Students.JPG

A revolutionary new model of school.

The program was such a success that the three decided to significantly expand the concept and start a school for students in the performing arts. Upon a suggestion from Eliezer Shmueli, then Director General of the Ministry of Education, the sciences were added to the school’s curriculum.

“There was nothing in the U.S. like it—an interdisciplinary school (for high-achieving students in the arts and sciences),” Asher recounted to the Jerusalem Post. “It was the first school of its kind in the West…and it was founded on three principles: Excellence, Leadership and Community Service.”


Where Israel’s brightest students achieve more.

Today, IASA is home to one of Israel’s most diverse student bodies, with native-born and immigrant, Jews and Israeli Arab students from more than 100 communities across the nation. “When you see the students,” Asher added, “you see the map of Israel.”