Avichai’s commander: I discovered a soldier with tremendous motivation to serve and contribute, inspired by values from his upbringing and the education he had received since childhood.
Ahead of last week’s joint ceremony, students from Mechinot Ami Chai, Lapidot, Melach HaAretz, and Oz Shlomo went to speak with intellectuals from all over the spectrum of Israeli society. Watch the complete interviews with Professor Meir Buzaglo, Dr. Ruth Calderon, and Rabbi Hananel Etrog, and their insights from the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin 25 years ago
Twenty-five years after the Rabin assassination, a joint memorial held by all secular, traditional, Orthodox, and mixed mechinot throughout Israel was broadcast to all their students. The ceremony emphasized the importance of national unity, respectful discourse, and preserving the Jewish and democratic character of the State of Israel: “Now more than ever, with Israeli society going through a pandemic and high tensions, we consider holding a joint memorial especially important”
Eleanor Blum, an alumna of Yachad at the Mechina of the Upper Galilee, just finished her degree studies at Harvard University. Now, she looks back at what made her return for mechina after not being in Israel for over ten years, how she bridged the language gap, and how it is to be a mechina graduate at an American college
Shibolim, the program that helps so many young people with disabilities attend mechina, has completed its fourth year of operations. From volunteer work to the coronavirus outbreak, here’s a Shiboletter full of updates for the end of the year, with columns written by program alumni (including a winner of the President’s Prize!), a unique gallery of photos shot by a participant, and a couple that met thanks to Shibolim.
In partnership with KKL, the community-building movement of mechina alumni continues to devise events and lead processes to introduce young people to opportunities in the periphery, from the inauguration of the Western Negev Trail, to community-building collaborations in the Negev and Galilee, to the Young Cities Hackathon. The Be’Artzeinu team sums up a busy year
Yachad, a program of the Joint Council, recruits dozens of young people from North America every year to attend mechina in Israel. This year, as a result of the coronavirus crisis, many students stayed in Israel longer to take part in the broad volunteer efforts led by the mechinot. Here are all the year’s Yachad updates, including a new mechina alumni organization in the US
Representatives from mechinot participating in Lishmah, the mechina gender studies project, met twice this year for steering committee meetings. Committee members discussed gender in the military, met army officers and a gender lecturer, heard from nonprofits activists and LGBT mechina alumni, and considered whether a woman who heads a mechina is a rosh mechina or roshat mechina
This year, 700 students and staff from 11 Orthodox, secular, and traditional mechinot participated in Jewish Peoplehood, a special collaboration of the Jewish Agency and the Joint Council of Mechinot that seeks to connect mechina students to fundamental Jewish issues in Israel and the Diaspora
As the coronavirus outbreak’s first wave came to an end, mechina students returned to their mechinot to get ready for year-end activities. We’ve prepared a video to sum up the wide-ranging work that all of Israel’s mechina students did during the crisis, in an impressive variety of volunteer and relief operations that included Magen David Adom call centers, agriculture, assistance for medical workers, and food distribution across Israel. Watch it here
An alumna of the Mechina of the Upper Galilee graduated from flight school, joining her grandfather, an Irgun fighter and commander. An alumnus of Mechinat Bnei David in Eli found time during the first wave of the coronavirus outbreak to meet the love of his life, marry her, and graduate from flight school. Among the 40 graduates of the 180th class of the IDF’s renowned flight school, eight are mechina alumni
Tunusau Adya, a Shibolim participant at Mechinat Lavi, suffers from vision problems. Yet he’s inspired by his disability to capture new heights. His message: “You’ve just got to understand that if you have a handicap, it isn’t the main thing. It’s secondary and it’s meaningless if you choose to believe it is”
Today (Tuesday, June 2) we mark Jewish Unity Day for the sixth time. This year’s theme: Alone and United . At an inspiring ceremony with the participation of President Reuven Rivlin, the Ifrach, Shaer, and Fraenkel families awarded the Jerusalem Unity Prize to the Joint Council of Mechinot. We’re proud to represent the entire mechina enterprise!
The ceremony, held in Tzafit Gully with bereaved families, mechina heads, and public figures, was broadcast to all mechina students. Zamir: “All of us are astounded and grateful for the nobility of character shown by the parents, who are a fundamental part of righting what is wrong”
Thanks to our friends at KKL and HaShomer HaChadash for helping with connections and logistics. All activities are conducted according to the directives of the Ministry of Health
This week, some 2,500 mechina students took up a wide range of volunteer responsibilities in agriculture, daycare for children of medical professionals, Magen David Adom call centers, and assistance for at-risk groups. Zamir: “We’re carrying out the mechina students’ ultimate, bottom–up demand for action”
As part of the coronavirus relief campaign of the mechinot, Mechina at Hannaton student Talya Hazani is helping to provide daycare for medical workers’ children. “It’s great to have the opportunity to give the medical personnel a break and help take care of their kids”
The harvest season kept no fewer than 30 mechinot busy this year in the days before Seder night. During this period, the students of Midreshet Shiluv in Natur produced a Passover Haggada, incorporating new passages that they wrote themselves. In the meantime, their volunteerism paid off. Rabbi Rozen: “Thousands of tons of fruit that would have been thrown out have been picked”
Despite the crisis, the mechina enterprise remains a force for social engagement. In a 3,000-strong campaign, the students of the mechinot are volunteering throughout Israel in agriculture, daycare for medical workers’ children, a Magen David Adom call center, and assistance for the elderly. All activities comply with the directives of the Ministry of Health
The new reality in which we find ourselves has forced the mechinot to answer the call and alter their activities accordingly. Even in this difficult time, community volunteering is a mainstay of the mechina world. Hundreds of students, including Shibolim participants, have mobilized for action in a variety of fields