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.