At A Glance:
Located in the Jaffa area of Tel Aviv; a modern perspective of traditional texts, with emphasis on social justice; volunteering within the community where you live and study; studies on Arab culture and language, Jaffa history and coexistence in an ethnically-diverse community.
Mechinat Telem is located in the historic and diverse Jaffa area of Tel Aviv. Your year in begins with a hike, along the way bonding with your fellow Mechina students and preparing for the year-long journey that lies ahead of you.
Throughout the year, you’ll make the experience your very own by serving on committees with your fellow Mechina students to decide everything from allocating the group’s food budget, to organizing periodic group seminars, to planning “Israel Trail” excursions.
One of the main aspects of the Mechina is Jewish learning. Throughout the year, participants engage in Jewish texts through a modern lens, studying a variety of topics such as Torah, Talmud, philosophy, and Israeli identity and culture. As part of their learning experience, participants lead and take part in a number of seminars in different regions of Israel in which they learn about and discuss the above-mentioned issues.
The study program extends to the outside world, as you’ll put the ideas of social justice learned in the classroom into action by volunteering in the community where you live – in local schools and community centers, in Arab-Jewish coexistence projects, with the Ethiopian Jewish community, immigrants, refugees and more. You can also choose to work in the Mechina’s learning center, operated entirely by Mechina students, to help local Jaffa kids with their homework. Volunteer work is supervised by a staff member to ensure the most meaningful and impactful experience possible.
Community life and independence
Life at the Mechina based on a high level of independence. The Mechina participants are completely responsible for their everyday schedule including preparing meals for themselves and leading meaningful projects in the community. Each participant is active in at least one Mechina committee, including but not limited to "the home", field trips, recruitment, sports, community relations, ecology, and culture and spirit.
Prayer and Jewish calendar
A vital part of the Mechina is to experience the Jewish calendar as a community. Services, conducted twice a week and organized by Mechina participants, include traditional prayer texts, modern Israeli songs, inspirational pieces of writing, and individual participant expression. This allows participants to use prayer as a pathway to spiritual growth and to a deeper connection with Jewish tradition and the world.
Mechina participants often go on hiking trips to better acquaint themselves with the geographical diversity of the country. The Mechina year both begins and ends with a full Mechina trip, and, throughout the year, participants learn how to navigate and embark on sections of the Israel trail in groups of three.
Website - http://www.hamechina.org.il/english