The Joint Council of Israeli Zionist Social Leadership Academies (also known as pre-army mechinot) was established in 2009 and consolidates all the recognized pre-army mechinot under one umbrella. Throughout Israel today, there are mixed religious-secular, Reform, Conservative, secular, and modern Orthodox mechinot—all providing a distinctive residential platform for army-age Israelis during the year before their service in the Israel Defense Forces.
Each mechina has a unique character that reflects a particular way of life, and all implement an intense educational program with core values that include commitment to Judaism and Jewish renewal, Zionism, democracy, tolerance, responsibility to society, and active service to the community. Participants develop leadership skills, prepare themselves for their army service, and experience all aspects of Israeli society through group encounters and tours.
Mechinot graduates are found in leadership positions in the army and in society as a result of their year-long program of study, introspection, and volunteerism, which prepares them to accept responsibility, lead by example, and handle complicated situations with a high degree of maturity, morality, and humanity.
The Mechina Law of 2008, passed in the Knesset, gave the mechinot official recognition and support from the Ministries of Defense and Education, which cover 50% of the cost. The balance of support comes from participant fees and fundraising.
We are looking for partners who believe, as we do, that developing future leaders with strong moral, Jewish, and universal values of tolerance, pluralism, and democracy is crucial to Israel’s future. Specifically, we seek support for the following components of our program:
- scholarships for mechina participants
- logistics and training for community volunteer programs
- educational tour activities for mechina students
- capital projects in the mechinot
For more information: