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• Develop Jewish Peoplehood – Formalize the link between Israel's Jews and Diaspora Jews through their common historical and cultural heritage while inspiring desire for mutual action and commitment to the future.
• Leadership Development – Grow leadership abilities through self-leadership and the will to lead and serve as a personal example. The students will self-manage themselves and the program by running committees and working on individual and group projects (with the help and guidance of our staff).
• Improve Public Diplomacy – Train advocates to speak out for Israel. Public diplomacy will stem from a deep knowledge and faith in the importance of the Zionist vision. Students will acquire the tools and the skills to disseminate this knowledge.
• Solidifying Jewish Zionist identity – Develop a personal identity rooted in the philosophies of some of the greatest Israeli and world leaders. With a broad education and focused study, the students will become leaders with vision and purpose, possessing the resolve and ability to effect real change within themselves and society at large.
• Love of the Land – Understand Israel geographically and socially by becoming familiar with all sectors of the population engendering the understanding that the pioneer spirit is still very much alive in contemporary Israel.
• Preparation for Next Step – Practice physical fitness and mental stability for those joining the IDF. For those returning home, identify the challenges within the different Jewish communities and preparing for returning home for meaningful involvement.
The weekly schedule is primarily filled with learning Zionism, Jewish history, philosophy, Hebrew, politics, and Israel advocacy. Alongside this learning, we partake in many outdoor activities such as hiking, acquiring navigation skills, volunteering, getting to know communities around Israel and more. All activities are in English.
Yachad Gap Year is the ultimate Israel immersion experience, offering you the opportunity to learn, volunteer and explore Israel in Israeli Mechina programs with Israeli peers. For more than 20 years, these prestigious programs have been offering amazing experiences for Israeli high school grads, and now you can join them! There's a Mechina program for every taste—non-religious, Reform, Orthodox and mixed; and any place in Israel you like.
If you're ready to create strong and lasting bonds with Israeli peers—if you're ready to have a deep and meaningful experience that you'll cherish for a lifetime—if you're ready to give back to Israeli society and to the Jewish people—then Yachad Gap Year is for you!
Yachad Gap Year represents the following Mechinot: Aderet, Beit Yisrael, Galil Elyon, HaEmek, Keshet Yehuda, Lachish, Lapidot-Emunah, Meitzar, Nachshon, Otzem, Rabin, Telem, Tzahali.
Your year in Yachad consists of Learning, Volunteering, Exploring Israel and Life in the Group:
Learning: Each Mechina program has a talented and highly-trained teaching staff that will conduct discussion-based classes on Israeli society, Zionist history, Jewish studies, Jewish identity, philosophy and more.
Volunteering: You'll be active in the community where you live, by working in public schools and after school programs, visiting with elderly populations and contributing to the community through special projects.
Exploring Israel: Throughout the year you'll have seminars for several days to explore different parts of Israel. And some Mechina programs hike the "Israel Trail," which spans all of Israel from the southern tip of Eilat, all the way to the most northern point of the Galilee.
Life in the Group: You'll be part of a self-governing community in the Mechina program that makes all the major decisions governing life in the group. You'll serve on committees that determine everything from how to divide up the group food budget, to planning trips and seminars, to inviting guest speakers and performers for cultural evenings.
Yachad is the ultimate Israel immersion experience, because you're in totally Israeli programs with Israelis your own age the whole time! You and your Israeli peers govern every aspect of life, from dividing up the group food budget, to planning seminars and trips. And you can choose between a broad variety of programs, for every level of observance, and in every part of Israel!