The Mechinot

The Pre-Military Academies (Mechinot)

Personal Stories

Eliran Oster

Eliran Oster was born in 1988 with only one hand. He and his family live in Givat Sha’ul. His family is religious: Eliran’s mother was motivated by the example of family members to became religious about a year after marrying his father, who then took Eliran’s mother’s lead. The family affiliates with the religious Zionist movement.

Eran Gal-Or

My name is Eran Gal-Or. I am twenty-nine and work as the content manager at Maslulim, a publishing company that I founded with my father. I also am a tour guide, a staff member at the Bnei Zion Mechina in Tel Aviv, and the head of Action Academy, a program for alumni of mechinot (pre-military leadership academies) who have completed their service in the IDF.

Eli Luskin

Eli Luskin, now twenty-four, was born in Sydney, Australia, and subsequently moved to Ma’aleh Michmas and then Efrat. He currently resides in Jerusalem. Eli is a member of the first graduating class of the Bnei Zion Mechina (Pre-Military Leadership Academy) in Tel Aviv, which he and his friend Shaul Netzer chose to attend after meeting Yuval Kahan, the head of the mechina, at a lecture in the Conservative High School of Jerusalem.

Amit Hazan

My name is Amit Hazan. I am twenty-nine and in my third years of social work studies at Sapir College, where I am the chairman of the student union. I grew up in Gan Yavne, where I went to school and played on a number of soccer teams during high school. When I was eighteen, after high school graduation and much thought, I decided to register the Ein Prat— Leadership Academy, in Kefar Adumim.

Noam Smith

Noam Smith (29) is a native of Kibbutz Gesher Haziv, where his parents still live. His mother was born to an American Catholic family and was motivated by Zionism to convert to Judaism while still in the United States. Because the conversion was performed under the auspices of the Reform Movement, she is not considered Jewish under Judaic law as recognized by the State of Israel, and Noam, her son, is not halakhically considered Jewish. Noam, however, views himself as a member of the Jewish people who lives a life of Jewish meaning.

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