The seeds of summer are already drifting through the wind, reminding us that the year has reached its end. For the past few weeks, the mechinot (pre-military leadership academies) have been busy with farewell events, trying to condense the whole jam-packed year into one evening.
This wasn’t an easy year for the mechinot. There were echoes of the tragedy in Tzafit Gully at all of the graduation events. Most of the ceremonies began with eulogies, the reading of the names of the ten lost students, and a moment of silence in their memory.
A final song
The students of the class of 2018 at the One of Us(Hebrew) Hadassah Neurim affiliate wrote and put to music a special song in honor of their mechina graduation. All of the students performed the song together in a graduation ceremony attended by their parents and friends.
The young women of the third class of Mechinat Lapidot Emunah also chose to end the year with a special song. As part of their goals for the year, they had taken upon themselves to put on a musical project. They took lyrics from the Book of Ezekiel, put the words to music, and recorded the song in a studio. Here is the final product:
I shall gather you from the lands in which you were scattered
And place you upon the soil of Israel
I shall give them a single heart and a new spirit within them (Ezekiel 11:17–19)
Da Vinci at Givat Haviva
The second class of Mechinat Haviva Reik (Hebrew) took on a special project: to built an outdoor classroom where the mechina would hold various activities. The students chose to build a structure in the shape of a dome, based on sketches by Leonardo da Vinci. A few domes of this type have been built in the world, but this is the first in Israel. After in-depth preliminary tasks involving calculations, measurements, and the construction of models, the students got to work. They sawed, filed, and painted 165 boards, which they joined together using nearly 300 screws.
Pictured: three students from the mechina in the completed structure
They documented the process of creating the dome in an impressive video that presents all the stages of planning and construction.
Ruach Hassade(Hebrew) is a new mechina for young men that opened this year on Kibbutz Be’erot Yitzchak. In addition to singing with parents and farewell remarks from staff, a representative of the kibbutz, and students, the closing evening included the release of the mechina’s first creative artistic pamphlet: the first volume of Bikkurei Sadeh: Creations. The pamphlet is based on drawings and songs produced by the students in creative writing and art classes during the year.
One last push
Mechinat Maskyot(Hebrew) spent the final days of the year engaged in challenging but gratifying team-building activities on the banks of the Jordan.
At the Tavor Leadership Academy(Hebrew) too, the end of the year was spent on physical activity with special significance. At the beginning of the year, students at the mechina, which is located in Nazareth Illit, climbed the adjacent Mount Tavor. Now, at the year’s end, they closed the circle and again ascended the mountain.