In the last 63 years, the State of Israel has made some fundamental errors in establishing a multi-cultural democratic Jewish society. Each option represents an extreme choice, with no place for a family that wishes to remain in the “Jewish middle.” Meitarim offers a middle ground where all Jews are welcome. Mechinat Lachish provides the next crucial step in developing the next generation of Jewish leaders.
Mechinat Lachish is a coeducational, pluralistic program welcome to post-high school Israelis all across the religious, socio- economic, and geographic spectrums in Israel. Classes in this 10-month program are taught by over 25 different lecturers and explore topics in the arts, Jewish texts, Zionism, agriculture, and the Jewish Diaspora. The mechina exposes the students to their rich heritage through literature and philosophy, agriculture and art. They grow as leaders with a sense of responsibility towards the Nation and the Land of Israel. Located in Kibbutz Beit Guvrin in the Lachish region in southern Israel, the mechina was founded in September 2007 with a focus on the environment, ecology, agriculture, volunteerism, individual development and accountability, artistic self- expression, and preparation for military service.
When not in the classroom, students spend their time working in the fields of the kibbutz, volunteering with the elderly, aiding children with special needs, tutoring at an Ethiopian absorption center, and other important projects. They also enjoy spending time with their local adopted families. The relationships between the participants and their adopted families often expose each side to an Israel they were previously unaware even existed.
By participating in kibbutz life through social activities and volunteering, the students not only contribute to the monetary gain in this financially troubled kibbutz but also inspire kibbutz members by bringing positive energy to a region in Israel suffering from socio-economic, cultural, and religious struggles.
The mechina has been a runaway success and is already regarded by the Ministries of Defense and
Education as one of the best mechinot in the country out of nearly 40 programs. In 2010, the mechina successfully launched its inaugural class for second year students. Nine graduates of the first year program participated, and 16 first year students soon enrolled in the 2011-2012 second year program, which is the maximum capacity.
For more information about Mechinat Lachish, please visit their website.