Dear Heads of the Pre-military Leadership Academies, Educational Staff, and Students,
I congratulate you on this festive occasion when you mark the conclusion of the Mechina year with thousands of students, young men and women, graduating from pre-military leadership academies throughout Israel.
The unique enterprise of the Mechinot has been constructed, piece by piece, over the past several decades. Dozens of secular, religious, and mixed Mechinot have been established to prepare young people who have graduated from high school for meaningful service in the IDF. Students dedicate their time to studies and self-enrichment that contribute to strengthening their Jewish and Zionist identity. They also invest themselves in service to the community, fostering community life, and learning self-management.
Numerous young men and women attest that the Mechina year is a highly meaningful year of their lives because during it they acquire intellectual and physical fortitude, shoulder responsibility, and reinforce their sense of mission and their preparedness to meet the challenges of military service. The results speak for themselves: a substantial part of Mechina alumni make their way to elite units of the IDF and to command or officer training.
The Pre-military Leadership Academies are known to contribute as well by serving as a bridge between all streams of the Israeli population. The religious and the non-religious, Jews and non-Jews, have the opportunity to meet each other and deepen their sense of mutual responsibility—a cornerstone of our existence as a society. The education provided, with its emphasis on leadership and civic engagement, makes itself felt in the area of military service as well: I frequently meet Mechina graduates who are single-minded in their desire to constructively reshape various realms of life in Israel.
Dear friends, it is my hope for you that the Mechina enterprise will continue flourishing in the years to come. You are definitive proof of the tremendous potential that lies within the young people of Israel, and your work is a source of profound inspiration for the citizens of this country.
I wish you much success in your future endeavors.