At a Glance:
Pastoral location in Beit Shean valley, near the Sea of Galilee; leadership and Jewish identity studies focused on building bridges in Israeli society; exploring Israel by building “HaEmek” nature trail; seminars on personal encounters with different sectors in Israeli society.
Located in the village of Tel HaTeumim in the beautiful and pastoral Beit Shean Valley (just south of the Sea of Galilee), Mechinat HaEmek enables you to become a part of a community of religious and secular Jews, for an unforgettable experience in which you’ll gain valuable leadership skills and explore your Jewish identity. HaEmek is a year of service and study, during which you’ll get a chance to leave a lasting impact on Israeli society, through volunteering in the communities of the Beit Shean Valley, and on the land of Israel, by helping to build “The Valley Trail,” and undergoing a training course to become a certified Valley Trail guide. You’ll be exposed to worlds of knowledge and culture that will enable you to build bridges between different sectors of the Jewish people and beyond.
Learning in Mechinat HaEmek doesn’t just take place in the classroom, but also between classes, outdoors in nature, on trips and in volunteering locations in the community. The study is meant to both shape life within the Mechina, and guide students after they have graduated. Among the subjects taught by HaEmek’s highly-qualified teaching staff are post-biblical Jewish literature, Torah study, Jewish philosophy, social justice, and Zionist philosophy.
Mechinat HaEmek students are at the forefront of social change in the city of Beit She’an and the communities around the Beit She’an valley. The volunteer work is done in full cooperation with the public education system and welfare institutions in the communities where the Mechina is located. Mechina students are active in three main tracks: (1) working with children within the formal education system; (2) community initiatives with youth in informal educational settings, with an emphasis on communal empowerment; and (3) work with senior citizens at day centers and with disabled residents of the area.
HaEmek trains its students to be social entrepreneurs in their community, through a social entrepreneurship course and field experience, with students putting their ideas into action in the community to empower the children and youth of the Beit Shean Valley.
Students of Mechinat HaEmek also get the chance to explore Israel in week-long in-depth seminars around Israel and in nature excursions. Mechinat HaEmek students work on building the “Shvil HaEmek” (valley trail), and undergo training to become certified guides for the trail.
Throughout the year, week-long seminars break up the routine to focus on a variety of different subjects, such as a Jerusalem seminar, seminars in the south and north of Israel, a nature “field” seminar, and more. HaEmek also pioneered the “society” seminar, during which students are split into small groups, and each group is sent off to spend a week in a different sector of Israeli society.
Website - http://ha-emek.org.il/english-2/