30 Jan Israeli and Diaspora young Jews master ‘well-formed approach to life’ at Kiryat Yearim pre-military academy
Israeli and Diaspora young Jews master ‘well-formed approach to life’
at Kiryat Yearim pre-military academy.
Anybody who leaves the mechina is a thinking person, is aware of their identity, and is a person who wants to make the most of themselves.
The Jewish Agency’s Kol Ami Jewish Peoplehood Academies bring together post-high school Israelis and their Jewish peers from abroad, with the aim of strengthening the participants’ connection to the Jewish people. The curriculum includes personal growth and empowerment, learning and volunteering, public diplomacy, Jewish texts, building physical endurance and navigation skills, and understanding the concept of a unified Jewish people.
“Here at the mechina, you can find leadership training, preparation for the IDF, and the development of self-identity and Zionism,” Gilad says. “A healthy balance is maintained between all the various components....The mechina caters for a mixed group of youngsters, from Israel and from the Diaspora...this eclectic experience impacts the consciousness of each and every participant. They meet new people and think about what is good for them, as an Israeli and as a Jew.”
As an example of one of the academy’s key activities, Gilad cites a hike that incorporates physical and psychological challenges. The mechina places its emphasis not solely on training participants for military service, but on a holistic approach to personal development. Graduates, meanwhile, are eager to give back by sharing their experiences and insights with current students.
“Anybody who leaves the mechina is a thinking person, is aware of their identity, and is a person who wants to make the most of themselves,” Gilad says, “We want people to leave here with a well-formed approach to life, after gaining experience here, that they should leave here better prepared for the army and beyond.”