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A Mechina Kdam-Tzvait (Hebrew: מכינה קדם צבאית‬; "pre-military preparatory", plural מכינותMechinot) is an autonomous unit of specialized educational institutions  valuing non-formal education and pre-military training in Israel. Funded and supported by the Ministry of Education and Defense, as well as by the Israeli Defense Forces. As for 2017, there are 46 Mehin in Israel operating in the territory from Upper Galilee in the North and to Arabia in the South. They are divided to 22 religious and 24 general types. The output of Mehinas is 3300 students per year. The mission of the Mehinas is to prepare for the conscious service of the army, to educate leaders of local communities that could affect society and the state. Educational program blocks mostly include: Judaism and Jewish identity, Zionism, development of leadership skills, volunteering, military training is an Israeli educational program that prepares high school graduates for serving in the Israeli Army or study at an institution of higher learning in Israel. Most mechina programs last one academic year.

There are also academics-only Mechina (prep studies/prep school) in Israel for Israelis who wish to enroll into a university and need to improve their grades.

It is also the official name of a few ultra-Orthodox yeshiva high schools in the United States.


The basis of training in the Mehinas are

special national values of Zionism, democracy, pluralism and tolerance. About 25% of students come from the different social, economic and geographic peripheries of Israel. In most cases, the tuition is largely provided with state funding and scholarships for talented people.

Alumni [edit]

Almost 90% of Mechina graduates hold high posts in the IDF, according to the Mehino law, which was adopted by the Knesset in 2008. This is often work in combat and special units that directly deal with hostili.

25% of officer graduates and 10% of graduates of the prestigious pilots course at UPU become students of furniture. Commanders of battalions and divisions give preference to graduates of mechinas, as the year of training, personal development and volunteering prepares them to become mature leaders who are ready to take responsibility, lead by example, and solve difficult situations that demand a high morale and serious experience with human dilemmas.

Pre-army Mechinot[edit]

There are four types of pre-army Mechinot:

Religious pre-army Mechina[edit]

A religious Mechina is intended for graduates of a Yeshiva high school or a religious high school, and prepares them for their service in the Israel Defense Forces. Focus is placed on preparing them for the encounter with secular society in the army by studying Jewish thought, beliefs, and outlooks. Students also prepare physically for their service period, and receive leadership training from active-duty officers.

The first religious Mechina, Bnei David,[1] was founded in 1988 in Eli, a Jewish settlement in the West Bank.

Other religious Mechinot:

Secular pre-army Mechina[edit]

A secular Mechina focuses on preparing high school graduates for citizenship as well as IDF service. The program of studies covers leadership, principles, and practice of democracy, volunteer service to the community, ideological and individual identity, Zionism, Jewish history and heritage, philosophy, and more. While "secular" in matters of religious observance, the program of study includes Judaism with a focus on ethics and tradition.

The first secular Mechina was Nahshon, founded in 1997 in Nili [11] in the West Bank.

Other secular Mechinot:

Joint religious and secular pre-army Mechina[edit]

The joint religious and secular Mechinot were founded to help bridge the widening gaps in Israeli society. As such, they focus on teaching a range of subjects to a mixed student body, including Zionism, leadership, Judaism, political science, philosophy, alongside intensive community and societal involvement and volunteering.

Joint religious and secular Mechinot:

  • The Hannaton Mechina at Kibbutz Hannaton (Masorti/Conservative)
  • Beit Yisrael at Kibbutz Beit Yisrael in Gilo (East Jerusalem) [13]
  • Ein Prat (Co-ed) in Kfar Adumim (West Bank) [14]
  • Gal (a new mechina) in Akko
  • Jaffa (Reform) in Tel Aviv-Jaffa
  • Amichai (Co-ed) in Kibbutz Kramim
  • Nachshon (Co-ed) has three campuses in the Northern Negev

International Mechinas[edit]

Many Mechinas accept Jewish students from abroad who are looking for an immersive Gap Year experience in Israel with Israelis. There are two English speaking Mechinas that are designed specifically to serve the needs of its international students. Mechinat "Kol Ami" is operated by the Jewish Agency and "Artzi" is an independent Mechina that specializes in drama and the arts.

College preparatory programs[edit]

Several frameworks operate in Israel to prepare for entrance to institutions of higher (post-secondary) education, those students who otherwise lack the necessary academic qualifications. These are geared for various populations.

Academic Mechinot[edit]

These are operated by Israeli universities, for students with an Israeli high school education.

Mechinat Olim[edit]

A Mechinat Olim (Hebrew: מכינת עולים‎; immigrants' preparatory) is designed specifically for prospective, new, or recent immigrants intending to study in an Israeli institution of higher education. The programs are generally conducted for one year, and all courses are taught in Hebrew. The program has two basic goals:

  • to raise the student's level of Hebrew, including those who started with no prior knowledge of the language, suitable for enrolling in post-secondary academic coursework
  • acquainting the student with academic material as taught in the Hebrew language, including subjects from the Israeli curriculum such as Civics and Jewish History

Mechinot Olim offer different content-based tracks of study (i.e. Life Science, Humanities, Social Sciences, or Physical Science). The Technion will only accept students from its own Mechina.

Remedial courses preparatory to higher education[edit]

In addition to the above, there are private (i. e., commercial) educational institutions in Israel offering remedial courses for students after high school who wish to complete or upgrade their scores in their subject matriculations or prepare for the psychometric examinations required for entrance to college or university.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]