2001: Our Jerusalem branch JAIS opens
In 2001, the American Embassy approached then Superintendent Bob Sills about starting a branch of the American School in Jerusalem. Susan Guggenheim was hired to start the school and to be its first teacher. After the perfect location was found in the Goldstein Youth Village, the Jerusalem American International School opened with a pre-K and Kindergarten, and 8 students.
As time passes, the population grew and the grades expanded. By 2008, the school welcomed students in grades pre-K through 6, and a very diverse community was formed including Israelis, Arabs, Armenians, Embassy personnel, children of NGO families that were working in Gaza, and of reporters from news outlets working throughout the area.
JAIS is always a reflection of the political situation, with its population rising and falling in response to events like the moving of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, and the Intifadas (respectively). It now serves over 120 students in grades PreK though Grade 8, with high school students traveling to the Even Yehuda campus.