Yachad is finishing up the academic year with 60 fresh mechina graduates: More than half of this year’s alumni decided to stay in Israel and join the IDF or perform alternative civilian service (sherut leumi). The rest decided to go back to their studies with a strong sense of mission after a life-changing year in Israel. Ninr Israeli families decided to put an end to their time abroad and come back to Israel during or after their children’s year at mechina. During the first wave of the coronavirus outbreak, Yachad students volunteered wherever their Israeli friends did, while closely accompanied by mechina staff and keeping in touch with their parents abroad.
More than half of this year’s alumni decided to stay in Israel and join the IDF or perform alternative civilian service (sherut leumi)
During the year, Joint Council representatives took a recruiting trip through North America, hosting promotional events at schools, youth movement venues, and community centers in major Israeli and Jewish communities. In all, the Joint Council held events in 12 locations throughout North America, including New York, Long Island, New Jersey, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Toronto, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, Miami, and Toronto. Across the board, attendees showed a lot of interest in taking part in the program. There also proved to be a correlation between the year-over-year increase in marketing and growth in the number of students.
The last day of the 2019 preparatory seminar in New York for foreign mechina students before their arrival in Israel
At an event held during the IAC National Summit in Miami this year, the Joint Council launched the Movement of Mechina Alumni in North America. Present at the event were 12 alumni and some 80 parents, interested candidates, and representatives of partner organizations such as KKL, Tzofim, and IAC. The Joint Council has also been in touch with our friends at JFNA. They expressed an interested in being involved with the new organization and employing mechina alumni in Jewish communities throughout the United States.
Yachad will kick off the coming year with 85 new students from North America, Asia, and Europe who will enter 12 mechinot in September. There was no way to have a preparatory seminar in the United States like last year’s for them, because of the coronavirus. Instead, we held the seminar on Zoom. The virtual event focused on mental and physical preparation for the transition to Israel and mechina, including expectations, concerns, and how to deal with the challenges to come.
Good luck to all our Yachad students and alumni!