Israeli Pre Army Academies (Mechinot) are not Boot Camps!

Israeli Pre-Military Academies are not Boot-Camps.

In contrast to rigid environments such as bootcamp, where one meets strict demands and is under pressure, the Mechina is a relaxed yet structured environment.   The educational philosophy driving Mechinat Keshet Yehuda is that true development and growth require the desire to change.  This desire must originate from within the individual.  Forced change disappears once the enforcing environment is gone.

Mechinat Keshet Yehuda provides an environment for personal growth, but does not force it.  Of course there are ground rules, however the main factor in the growth of the Mechina student is his desire to take advantage of the fertile environment and advance change.  Those who take responsibility for their development upon their own shoulders see rapid change and create a new approach to life.

The student who is suitable for Mechina is one who is goal oriented and responsible.

To learn more about a great Israeli Army prep program go to


Why should you prepare for Israeli Military Service?
(For those planning IDF Service)

You may think that army preparation has to do with getting in good physical shape.  You are right but there is much more.  It’s true that you need to be in good shape before service in order to try out for good units.   But what about your mental shape when facing various challenges.  What about your spiritual level in the army.  The fact is that many young men fall in their religious observance at a time when keeping it up would be the greatest merit possible.  Many young men become discouraged by the tedious grinding schedule and environment.   Some even ask themselves “why did I decide to serve?”  A question like that may rise in the mind of a Mechina graduate in stressful situations but the answer will shoot right back and push him through even the hardest times.  Their faith, determination and will help to make Mechina graduates some of the best soldiers and to take on leadership roles in the army.  The percentage of Mechina graduates who become officers is much higher than in the non Mechina population.  According to research published in the military journal Ma’arachot 80 percent of religious preparatory program graduates join combat units, compared to 40 percent of all soldiers, and 20 to 25 percent become officers, compared to 7 to 9 percent of all soldiers.

Know who you are!  Know what you are a part of!  Know what you are fighting for!

You are a soul, an integral part of the Nation of Israel which is coming to life after 2000 years of national death.  You are joining the IDF in order to defend your nation and thus help along the revival of our nation in our land.  This advances the fulfillment of our role in the world of being a light to all the nations by representing ultimate morality and truth.

After spending a year or a year and a half preparing spiritually, mentally and physically chances are your service will look different to you.  Instead of spending 3 years (more or less) out of necessity  to do your service  like everyone else, it will turn into 3 years of choice in which you will be able to fulfill mitzvot and goals not possible to achieve in civilian life.  One of our graduates called me up and said he was the only religious guy in his unit and one of the only motivated people in his platoon.  The soldiers are now looking up to him.

In short preparation for your army service will help you achieve a good unit, enhance your ability to handle hardships and challenges and push you forward to serve as a excellent soldier and serve as a model to your fellow soldiers.

To learn more about the program, visit the website at



Torah & Emunah are the Foundations to Your Success in the IDF and Beyond

Torah and Emunah are the Foundations of our Success.

There is a good reason that Mechina Graduates become the leading soldiers in the the IDF.  Beyond the physical training sessions and navigation skills acquired in Mechina there is a deeper root to success.

Dedication requires a solid will and strong faith in the righteousness of our mission.  The purpose of the Mechina is to expound upon the basic concepts of faith: G-d, the Nation of Israel, the Land of Israel and the interrelationships between them.  This is achieved through in depth learning in the spirit of Harav Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook the first Chief Rabbi of Israel.  This learning develops a deep understanding of our mission as the Nation of Israel and provides the drive powering the brave, moral, and dedicated soldiers of the IDF   Mechina graduates know what they are defending and what they are fighting for.  A high percentage of Mechina graduates go on to be officers and achieve high rank in the army.

The feeling of responsibility to the Nation and the spirit of giving is apparent in in civilian life.

Mechina is not just a preparation for the army rather it is a preparation for life.

To learn more about the program, visit the website at

A new type of aliyah

A new type of aliyah

Religious pre-military academy in Golan Heights helps young men from abroad integrate into Israeli society, making aliyah process much easier and smoother

Reprinted from Ynetnews,7340,L-3681784,00.html

Brian Chaim Becker, a young man from the United States who arrived in Israel this week, is the latest oleh to make aliyah through a unique program for young religious men aged 18 to early 20s.

After landing in Tel Aviv Chaim travelled directly to the Golan Heights where his new home, Mechinat Keshet Yehuda, is located.

The mechina is a pre-military academy that adheres to the philosophy of Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook zt”l, the first chief Rabbi of Israel and the leading force in the creation of the national religious movement.

Chaim (right) with Mordechai Rosenzweig, another oleh on the program (Photo: Avraham Venismach)

Since 1992 boys have been coming right after high school to Mechinat Keshet Yehuda from all over Israel in order to prepare themselves both physically and spiritually for the army.

Three years ago two young men from the US decided to make aliyah and wanted to make it into top combat units. They heard of the mechina’s reputation of being one of the top producers of soldiers for fighting and elite IDF units, and decided they preferred it to program that cater mainly to English-speakers.

Their aliyah and integration was very successful, so much so, that the Mechina manager Shuki Kastenbaum saw this as his duty to expand this program.

Since then more have come, made aliyah right from the program and are now serving in the army.

Inspired by the Western Wall

Chaim is on the Pilot Year program offered at Mechinat Keshet Yehuda, this program is specifically for those that would like to see what it’s like to live in Israel like an Israeli his age, but without any of the commitments that come with aliyah.

He came to Mechinat Keshet Yehuda from Silver Springs, Maryland. His inspiration to make aliyah began at his first visit to the Western Wall, when he was 16. Chaim recounted: “It really wasn’t the Wall that captured my attention at first. When I arrived, I started looking around and realized how many different kinds of Jews there are in the world, yet I felt a connection with all of them, no matter what they had or didn’t have on their heads.

“Then I started staring at this ancient Wall, just standing quietly there as it had been for 2000 years and started thinking…its crazy! , its still here after 2000 years, now we finally have it back! Then I started thinking about the whole idea of a Jewish State… that if you would have told Jews, back when my grandparents were children that within one generation there would be a Jewish army defending the Jewish Nation … they would think you were crazy! … I want to be a part of that.”

A year later, back in his school in Silver Springs a representative from the mechina came to talk to students about the unique program. Chaim was sold, but his parents were less than keen on him making aliyah. However, upon learning of the one-year Pilot Program they decided to allow him to go.

At a party thrown in Chaim’s honor this week, the head of the academy, Rabbi Yaakov Feigenbaum said: “He who makes the decision and the effort to leave all the comforts of the outside world and ‘comes up’ physically and spiritually to the land is worth twice that of one born in it. He has achieved that extra level by virtue of the decision and effort that he makes to achieve the level of a Jew who lives in Eretz Yisrael.”

Good chance for a shidduch…

Mechinat Keshet Yehuda’s Aliyah program integrates the olim and those on the pilot year program (those that want to try things out before committing to aliyah.) into over one hundred Israeli boys. The integration process includes a Hebrew uplan and by living 24/7 with Israelis, learning Hebrew is much faster.

Integrating into Israeli society is a lot easier too; The Israelis naturally adopt their counterparts, thus giving these boys new family, friends, connections and when the time is right… a good potential for shidduchim (matchmaking).

To make the technical processes smoother Mechinat Keshet Yehuda works hand in hand with Nefesh b’Nefesh and all the other relevant agencies.

To learn more about the program, visit the website at