A Mechina (Hebrew: מכינה; "preparatory", plural מכינות Mechinot) 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. It is also the official name of a few ultra orthodox yeshiva high schools in the US.
There are three types of pre-army Mechinot:
Religious pre-army Mechina
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.
Other religious Mechinot:
- Ateret Cohanim in (East Jerusalem)
- AMIT Rosh Pina in Rosh Pinna
- Arzei HaLevanon in Ma'ale Efraim (West Bank)
- Avnei Eitan (Golan Heights)
- Carmey Hayil in Beit Rimon
- Hemdat Yehuda in Hemdat (West Bank)
- Elisha in Halamish (West Bank)
- Eretz HaTzvi in Peduel (West Bank)
- Katzrin in Katzrin (Golan Heights)
- Kiryat Malachi in Kiryat Malachi
- Keshet Yehuda Pre Military Academy - Aliyah and Integration Program for English Speakers http://www.aliyah18.org ] (Golan Heights)
- Magen Shaul in Nokdim (West Bank)
- Maskiot in Shadmot Mehola (West Bank)
- Otzem AKA Atzmona after their previous location, currently located in Nave.
- Yatir in Beit Yatir (West Bank)
- Yemin Orde in Hatzor HaGlilit
Secular pre-army Mechina
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 in the West Bank.
Other secular Mechinot:
- Aderet at Moshav Aderet
- Amichai at Moshav Argaman (West Bank)
- Meitzar (Golan Heights)
- Ma'ayan Baruch
- Mechinat BINA in Tel Aviv
- Mechinat Rabin in Kiryat Tiv'on
- Mechinat Hanegev
- Minsharim Kalu at Ma'agan Michael
Joint religious and secular pre-army Mechina
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)
- Ein Prat (Co-ed) in Kfar Adumim (West Bank)
- Gal (a new mechina) in Akko
- Jaffa (Reform) in Tel Aviv-Jaffa
College preparatory programs
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.
These are operated by Israeli universities, for students with an Israeli high school education.
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
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.
- Bnei David, Eli, The Military Yeshiva Academy of Israel
- The Pre-Military Academy (Mechina) "Ateret"
- Mechina Kdam Tzvait – Arzei Halevanon located in Ma’ale Ephraim
- Website of the Pre-Military Program – Mechina Carmei Hayil
- Mission Introducing - Hemdat Yehuda Pre-army Preparatory Yeshiva
- A Slice of Life. The Asheris Mourn their Son Eliyahu
- Children and Youth at Risk The Pratt Foundation, Israel
- / Mechinat Keshet Yehuda Pre Military Academy
- Magen Shaul Mechina
- Daniel Ben Simon: Men in suits at Maskiot March 04 2007, Haaretz.com
- Premilitary Preparatory Yeshiva Beit Yatir
- Meron Rapoport: PA: Decision to move W. Bank fence undermines peace efforts February 02, 2007, Haaretz.com]
- Ethan Bronner: Accounts of Gaza Killings Raise Furor in Israel March 19, 2009, The New York Times
- Jerusalem Foundation Dedicates Newly Renovated Beit Matanya
- The Israeli Academy for Leadership
- Jewish Agency for Israel, Army Mechinot
- Rochelle Furstenberg: Israeli Life: Idealism From Below Hadassah Magazine, October 2008 Vol. 90 No. 2
- The Mechina Program of the Northern Negev Midot Analysis Report No. 7, November 2008
- Children and Youth at Risk The Pratt Foundation, Israel 2006
- Amos Harel: 'Shooting and crying' Haaretz.com, retrieved March 31, 2009
- Anshel Pfeffer and Amos Harel: IDF ends Gaza probe, says misconduct claims are 'rumors' Haaretz.com, retrieved March 31, 2009
- Btselem, Settlements