HIPPY History

HIPPY was created in 1969 by Professor Avima Lombard in Israel at the NCJW Research Institute for Innovation in Education, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem to meet educational challenges facing Israel society and its large immigrant population.

In the early 1980s, Dr. Lombard worked with NCJW to adapt the program for implementation in the United States. The level of growth and the continued startup of HIPPY sites through the efforts of NCJW advocates sparked the organization of HIPPY USA. It began in 1988 as a department of the NCJW National Center for the Child and became its own 501(c)(3) in 1991. The national office remained in New York until 2007, when it moved to its current Little Rock location on the campus of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the administering agency for HIPPY Arkansas.

Besides Israel and the United States, HIPPY programs now operate in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, and South Africa. There are also HIPPY-inspired programs in Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, and Turkey. Hebrew University remains the licensor for all HIPPY programs worldwide and holds the copyrights for culturally-appropriate curriculum in the languages of individual countries.

HIPPY Mission

HIPPY partners with parents to prepare their children for success in school. Currently, HIPPY is closing the achievement gap at 140 program sites reaching 15,000 children, ages 3-5, in 22 states and the District of Columbia.

HIPPY USA is the United States umbrella organization for the local sites operating the HIPPY program. HIPPY USA contracts with nearly 140 local partners—non-profit agencies and school districts—that operate HIPPY programs throughout the United States. HIPPY USA provides and ensures the quality of the HIPPY model and curriculum materials, training, technical assistance, data collection, and accreditation as well as the benefits such as legislative advocacy, fund development and strategic communications/media consultancy,

HIPPY USA Executive Director

Lia Lent is the Executive Director of HIPPY USA. The HIPPY USA national office is located in Little Rock, Arkansas.

HIPPY International Director

Dr. Miriam Westheimer is the Director of HIPPY International. The HIPPY International network is headquartered at the NCJW Research Institute for Innovation in Education at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Downloadable Materials