As the Hebrew year 5778 begins, we send our best wishes to all our partners in the mechina world—staff, students, alumni, families, friends—for a meaningful, effective, and creative year of building a State of Israel that is a model country, a country that reflects the spirit of the Israeli Declaration of Independence and the heritage of the prophets of Israel.
In this message, we would like to draw your attention to a notable point related to gender. Ten years ago, not one woman was the head of a mechina or affiliate, and there were a similar number of female directors filling number-two positions. This year, we see powerful signs of a revolution: 9 female heads of mechinot and affiliates, and a respectable number of directors as well:
Michal Nagen, head of Mechinat Tzahali
Michal Alef, head of affiliates at the Rabin Pre-Army Leadership Academy
Anat Butzin, director of affiliates at the Rabin Pre-Army Leadership Academy
Or Zamir, head of the Rabin Pre-Army Leadership Academy at Oranim
Laura Talinovsky, head of the Rabin Pre-Army Leadership Academy at Haifa
Idit Ostrovsky, head of the Mechina of the Upper Galilee at Baram
Hila Gerchman, head of Mechinat Aderet at Ayanot
Tal Eitan, head of Mechinat Arava at Paran
Yoni Ben David, head of the IMPJ Mechina at Holon
Yael Domb, head and founder of the Jerusalem Pre-Military Leadership Program
Anat Steiner, director of the Yemin Orde women’s mechina
And the list goes on.
Several women sent us their best wishes and a few tidbits about themselves in honor of a new mechina year of leading their institutions to great things:
Laura Talinovsky, head of the Rabin Pre-Army Leadership Academy at Haifa, is entering her second year in the position. She is 33, has a background in education and social activism, and teaches classes on Economy and Society. She previously headed OneVoice and served three years as a parliamentary adviser in the Knesset. She lives in Carmel, a community of the mechina’s alumni in the Hadar neighborhood of Haifa. She is in a relationship and mother of two.
“I wish you a year of love, equality, justice, and feminist revolution.”
Nitzanit Riklin heads Mechinat Lapidot, which serves religious women, together with Rabbi Nir Yehuda. She is the mother of three boys.
“My wish for us is that we will succeed in bringing together heaven and earth through Torah study and social responsibility.
Or Zamir, head of the Rabin Pre-Army Leadership Academy at Oranim, is in her first year in that capacity. She is married to Udi Calvo and is the mother of their one-year-old son, Tomer.
“Freedom still my soul demands,
Unbartered for a calf of gold.
For still I do believe in man,
And in his spirit, strong and bold.
(Shaul Tchernichovsky, ‘Creed’)
Because there’s nothing like Tchernichovsky’s poem, which speaks about human nature, the need for vision, the need for action, the hope for a just society, equality, and peace—it even gives pride of place to Zionism—for wishing us all a year of meaningful action. Let it be a year of faith in humanity, a year of fulfillment. In short, a good year!”
Daya Badash is beginning her first year as director of Mechinat Melach HaAretz for women.
“I wish us a year both beautiful and different.
In the photo: Yuval (Rabin Pre-Army Leadership Academy, ’15) met yesterday with my girls and told them about herself and her work as a Magal squad leader in the IDF. I’m at the lower-right.”
Hila Gerchman, director of Mechinat Aderet at Ayanot (a new affiliate), previously served as coordinator of the first-year program at the main campus of the mechina. She is married to Matan and recently became the mother of two twins, Dror and Nevo.
“I wish everyone a year of development, growth, and making dreams come true. A year of friendship, equality, and peace.”
Rucha Vaknin Shaar, who is beginning her third year as director of Mechinat Echad Mishelanu, is married to Sharon and mother to four children.
“I wish you a far better year than last … a year of making dreams come true …”
Have a good year!