The Mechinot

The Pre-Military Academies (Mechinot)

The MECHINA Experience

A mechina (pre-military leadership academy) is a unique ten-month program that brings together study, community service, and group living. Its aim is to help every student continue developing a unique identity and form a worldview based on acquaintance with many different spheres of life.

Information about the mechinot

General

A mechina (pre-military leadership academy) is a unique ten-month program that brings together study, community service, and group living. Its aim is to help every student continue developing a unique identity and form a worldview based on acquaintance with many different spheres of life.

The young people who defer their army service to attend mechina are individuals who see themselves as important parts of society who have the ability to influence its development by taking responsibility for the security, social, educational, and other needs of all Israelis.

The mechina program is an intensive experience of:

  • In-depth study of various topics to help students expand their horizons

  • Community service, at most mechinot in the form of educational work to benefit disadvantaged groups, especially personal coaching, after-school activities, tutoring, and community center services

  • Leadership training to cultivate students’ leadership skills, prepare them for military service, and provide them with guidance as they identify suitable paths for reaching their full potential after completing their service in the IDF

While at mechina, students gain experience in group living, self-management, exercising an influence on decisions with ramifications for day-to-day life, and ongoing enrichment studies featured in the mechina curriculum.

Educational content at the mechinot is transmitted using a variety of tools, among them classroom lectures, military preparedness lessons, physical preparation for army service, field skill development, guest lectures, encounters with members of various groups, and field trips.

Today there is a wide range of mechinot that differ from each other in various ways:

  • Geography: There are mechinot throughout Israel, from the Upper Galilee and the Golan Heights in the north to the Arava in the south, in both the center of the country and communities in the periphery.

  • Target population: Some mechinot are secular, others Orthodox, while still others have both secular and Orthodox students.

  • Community type: Some mechinot are in cities, while others are located in rural communities.

FAQ

Is there a cost for mechina attendance?

Most mechinot charge a fee for room and board, amounting to several hundred shekels per month. Scholarships and other financial assistance are available at each mechina for those who require them. For information regarding financial assistance, please contact the individual mechinot.

What is the deadline for applying to mechina?

High school seniors may apply from September to approximately February to attend mechina in the coming year.

Why should I waste a year of my life?

A year spent at mechina is a boon to attendees and society alike. At mechina, students can take stock of their lives with the aim of becoming citizens with a cohesive identity, a broad-based view of the world, deep social consciousness, and a desire to be active participants in constructively reshaping various aspects of life in Israel. At the same time, mechina participants are given numerous skills and tools that serve them well in the future in such as areas as guidance skills, self-management, military preparedness, and group learning.

The JCM's Partners & Doners