10 MONTH PROGRAM
ISRAEL BY CHOICE
The Mechina is designed as a leadership academy for a select group of Israelis and other international post-school graduates. In this component of the IBC program, participants are given the unique opportunity to join the Mechina for 12 weeks. During this time the participants will live, learn and participate in various activities with the members of the Mechina. This amazing opportunity allows the participants to experience Israel and Israelis first hand, and develop long-standing friendships and bonds with their Israeli counterparts.
MADRICHIM (PROGRAM LEADERS)
Participants are accompanied by carefully selected and experienced Israeli Madrichim throughout the program. These Madrichim facilitate the educational processes and the participants’ acclimatisation into Israeli society. The Madrichim are there to guide, teach and care for the participants. Israeli Madrichim are specifically chosen to facilitate a deeper connection and integration into Israeli society – a crucial component in the IBC experience.
Mechina was an incredible experience that was the absolute best way to conclude my 10 months in Israel on IBC. Each day was filled with different challenges, emotions and fun. The lessons I learnt about being a member of a group and a leader are things that I could not have learnt anywhere else and lessons I will take with me for the rest of my life.
The schedule was jam packed. Each day we would have lessons on a range of topics such as philosophy, Judaism, environment, Israeli politics and other topics of our choosing. We also had some sort of exercise which included Krav Maga training. Mechina completely relied on the group as we had full ownership of our experience through our committee involvement. The committees managed every aspect of mechina – there was a committee for food, shabbat, content, management, army preparation, public relations and volunteering. Through the committees,we were able to create and mold our mechina experience to whatever we wanted it to be which was a truly amazing responsibility.
The skills that I gained from living in this intense and unique environment have already proved useful. The opportunity to live with Israelis prior to their army service is also so special. After only being with them for a short time, I know I have made life long friends and through our friendships I was able to see a whole new perspective of Israel.
Mechina was an incredible and indescribable experience that I will treasure for a long time.
It is extremely hard to put into words the concept of going on a gap year to end up at a Mechina, or “Pre – Army Academy”. Whilst, yes, it is an obvious conversation starter and question raiser of, what is Mechina? Why IBC? What did you learn? Did you go to the army? I can now reflect that IBC and Mechina specifically are much more than the grand sum of all their parts, they are experiences that will never be forgotten.
Growing up I was always a passionate Zionist, and had a deep connection to Israel, but that connection was not one on a personal level, but instead built upon connections that are taught and learned through growing up in a Jewish environment.
Mechina provided the space for me to explore Israel, and to find my own, personal connection. Nothing can compare to your own lived experiences, days spent deep in discussion and nights spent laughing with friends. Whilst Mechina might be hard to explain to someone unfamiliar with it, the universal language of friendship speaks to everyone.
To describe Mechina in one word it is friendship. The feeling of brotherhood that is created throughout 3 months is unlike any other. Whilst the experiences can be described, relived and put into words, the feeling of sleeping under the stars, the nights of laughter and the days of debate are experiences that are a truly individual journey that is unique to every Chanich.
Leaving Israel after my gap year, I could leave happily, knowing that at any time when I return to Israel I am returning to a place full of memories and experiences that I will forever cherish.