In 1999 The US State Department, in conjunction with the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, approached the Walworth Barber American International School in Israel and requested they open a branch in Jerusalem. They wanted a secular, American school to serve the US and Foreign diplomatic missions in Israel.
In August of 2001, at the height of the most recent intifada, JAIS opened its doors with 8 students. Four students were in preschool and four were in kindergarten. After 11 years, JAIS has become home to 150 students in preschool through high school. JAIS is currently experiencing significant growth in its student population on a yearly basis. Multiple additional buildings have been rented and renovated on campus in order to accommodate the growth. Currently JAIS is planning a building project in order to further improve the facilities with a dedicated cafeteria and multi-purpose room space and additional high school classrooms.
The faculty at JAIS is comprised of local hire American, British, Canadian, French Israeli, Spanish, and South African teachers.
JAIS operates under the auspices of the Walworth Barbour American International School (WBAIS), is included in their accreditation process, and must adhere to their policies. JAIS has an elected advisory board of five parents, one of which serves as an ex-officio member of the WBAIS school board.
JAIS is centrally located on the campus of the Israel Goldstein Youth Village. The village has 24-hour security guards. JAIS currently rents three buildings for classroom purposes. JAIS also uses the gymnasium, swimming pool, tennis courts, theater, fields, parks and science laboratories.