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Following Their Lead

Following their lead.
Mechinat "Aharai! B'ir", welcomed its newest participants with a grand launch in Jerusalem.

© Noam Moskovitz, The Jewish Agency for Israel

Partnership is one of the main values we teach – we do things better together.

Ofek Mechinot in partnership with Aharai! Ba’Ir provide a half-day mechinah alternative for urban students whose families are so vulnerable that they must live at home and work part-time while also preparing mentally and emotionally for their enlistment into the IDF.

In 2013, 35 Israeli high-school graduates distinguished themselves from their classmates by enrolling in "Aharai! B'ir" Mechinah—a post-high school service learning program for underserved young adults. The program is designed to enrich their IDF experience by providing participants with educational trips around Israel, career building workshops, and physical training and preparation.

Danny Rosner, CEO of the national Aharai! youth group, thanked the program's devoted partners: The Jewish Agency, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, Jerusalem Municipality, and of course the supportive parents. He added a message to the participants: "Partnership is one of the main values we teach – we do things better together."

Aharai! B'ir offers unique daily model where participants continue to live at home for the six-month preparation course. During that time, they experience authentic group bonding, and engage in identity-building towards a meaningful national service. They also work with their local community. Participants have the option to work, which is often important to young Israelis and their families before entering the IDF.

"A lot of people just talk about doing, but for you, today is all about actions," said Nir Lahav, addressing the new participants, and added, "Mechinah and preparation for a significant army service encourages social responsibility within growing sectors in Israeli society."