News & Updates

Ongoing Updates From The Joint Council of Mechinot

New Year Beginning at HeChalutz

A message about the importance and goals of HeChalutz, the Joint Council’s community-building movement, from HeChalutz CEO Tali Arnolf

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 09:15

HeChalutz: Strengthening Israeli Communities, was founded about just over one year ago by the Joint Council of Mechinot (Pre-Military Leadership Academies) and the Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (KKL) to bring fundamental change to Israeli community-building. Our mission is vital to Israel because of the need to ensure healthy population dispersal and to narrow socioeconomic gaps and help population centers throughout Israel to thrive.

The advent of HeChalutz is a game changer. Our precedent-setting movement is unique because it was founded by Israelis from every walk of life—religious and secular, right and left, and so on—and it works with all kinds of communities. Despite these differences, the community-builders of HeChalutz already are acting on a shared vision to achieve our common goals. More than anything else, HeChalutz reflects the central principle that has guided Joint Council operations for years: the success of the mechina enterprise must come from cooperation between leaders who hail from all the population groups targeted by the mechinot and representatives of all of the far-flung ideological positions that together make up Israeli Zionism.

The goals in the HeChalutz work plan for this year include:

  1. Increase the number of alumni of the mechinot and service year volunteers, as well as other young people, who choose to join mission-oriented communities.
  2. Create the conditions to keep participating young people in the urban and rural communities of the Israeli periphery over the long term.
  3. Communicate the importance of the community-building mission to current mechina students and alumni.
  4. Put the development of mission-based communities on the public agenda and build public support for HeChalutz.

We’re excited for our first full year of operations at HeChalutz, and we look forward to meeting all challenges head-on as we bring our mission to fruition. David Ben-Gurion famously said, “The State of Israel will be called upon to prove itself not with wealth, military power, or technology, but with moral fiber and human values.”

I wish all of us a year of new connections, of working together toward our shared ethical goals. I wish all of us a year in which idealistic groups of mechina alumni and other young people build communities and inspire other Israelis to contribute to society, take responsibility, and do everything they can to make Israeli society better and more tolerant.

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