Kol Ami Mechina Leadership Gap Year in Israel

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About

Kol Ami is a life changing leadership program operated by the Jewish Agency for both Israelis and Jews from around the world. We strive to forge a deep, meaningful, and lasting connection amongst the next generation of Jews.

Our participants come from different backgrounds - religious, secular, and everything in between. During the program, develop deep friendships, while exploring Israel, volunteering, learning, and living together as a community. Classes focus on the concept of Jewish Peoplehood, a topic that involves discussions and personal thinking.

Highlights
  • At least half the participants are Israeli
  • Participants from 20 countries
  • Pre-IDF training including Krav Maga
  • Touring Israel off the beaten path
  • Participants self manage the program

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Questions & Answers

Reviews

92%
based on 45 reviews
  • Housing 8.7
  • Support 8.6
  • Fun 9.2
  • Value 9.2
  • Safety 9.2
Showing 1 - 15 of 45
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Samuel
9/10

Make Aliya

Best gap year ever. I didn’t know what I was walking into but as soon as I got there it felt like home.
If your looking to have a real Israeli experience then this is the program for you. There can be challeng, es like the food sometimes but it’s all worth it.

--- This review for Kol Ami Mechina Leadership Gap Year in Israel has been modified by a Go Overseas Staff member of our Content Management team for Length to meet our minimum word count. If you have any questions about this process please reach out to us at [email protected]

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Oriya
10/10

experience of a lifetime

I came to Mechina with a lot of passion to grow as a person, to be more responsible, independent and learn more about the myself and the Jewish world overseaes. I learned and gained more than I have ever imagioned, Jewish values , met people from all over. I came through a significant prossess that Kol Ami gave me. Can't lie,there were hard times.But once you are finished it is the best feeling in the whole world.
It made me also more ready for being in the IDF.
Army preperation week,Navigation week ,Xpert day - hard and you are going through a lot but such a meaningful experiences. That really everyone is able to do.Also getting to know new people all over the world and different parts our society-Charaidi shabat,Israeli society week etc.
Recommed everyone who is looking for an experience of a lifetime!!

What would you improve about this program?
Everything is perfect!
















Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Naomi
9/10

Amazing Experience

When looking for a gap year program, I wanted a well rounded experience. Kol Ami is a perfect combination of trips, volunteering, learning how to live in a group environment, and so much more. This program has done amazing things for me- it has given me lifelong friends, many in Israel as well as scattered all over the world, newfound confidence, and a better sense of who I am and what I stand for. I know that all the skills I’ve learned this year will be very helpful to me when I enter college and that the memories I have made this year will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Tzvi
9/10

Best Decision of my Life

As an Israeli citizen I know growing up that after 12th grade I am going to the army. Throughout 12th grade my parents convinced me that I need to take a gap year so I can learn how to be independent. During the process of finding the perfect program for my self I found Kol Ami. A program that combines international and Israeli teens on a gap year.
During the program I met people from Australia who spend with us 3 months, Bonded with them ate with them and talked to them after schedule. Not many people get to know people from around the world during there gap year and having the opportunity to do so was amazing. The bond you get with people around the world is so unique. It's gives you the opportunity to meet people from around the world and eventually when you go visit these places you have people who you know who can show you around.
This experience was one of a kind and you can only get it here in Kol Ami.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Avigayil
9/10

Excellent gap year program!!

Mechinat kol ami has a lot to offer. We have classes on peoplehood, zionism, kodesh studies, and more. In addition, we have a lot of activities - hikes, peulot (like in bnei akiva), army prep, navigations, seminars, debates and so much more. The mechina is a very social place, and through interactions with the group and responsibilities I got to discover who I am and grow as a person. The meeting between Israelis and chulnikim is extremely interesting and we learn so much about each other and form incredible bonds. The classes, while mostly are very interesting, didnt really challenge my mind. Overall - very recommended program for people who want to learn about jews from all over the world, want to grow have an interesting israeli experience and have a really fun time with great friends.

What would you improve about this program?
More religious studies and less israeli anglos.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Koby
9/10

Amazing experience!!

This experience changed my life.
Going to Kol Ami was by far the best decision I could have made. I had a six month gap between high school and the army and was debating what to do. When I talked to a few people and heard of Kol Ami I was excited, it sounded like a great way to spend half a year before the army.
In my time at Kol Ami I grow in maturity, socially, responsibility and I grew overall as a person.
The Kol Ami experience is one I recommend greatly. I believe it’s an amazing experience that everyone who has the possibility should do.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Avishag
7/10

:)

It was fascinating to meet Jews from other countries, I didn't really understood that they existed before
More than this, the whole experience of the mechina was pretty fun.

What would you improve about this program?
The lessons Aren't interesting enough
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Hila
7/10

Kol Ami experience

I’m an israeli who lived in America for 6 years. I came back to draft in the army and wanted a program that would prepare me for it. This mechina really helped with that. We’ve done many army prep things like south challenge and navigation week that really simulated the army experience. And for someone who isn’t drafting, it’s a great way to see what the army fuss is all about.

Aside from that, this program attracts amazing people and I’ve made friends for life.

What would you improve about this program?
There should be classes that include more interactive learning rather than lectures.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Daniel
8/10

This was Awesome

Great program. Overall the program was great. Other than some flaws with support for kids that decide they want to draft in the army it is a bit hard but those are things they are working on every year and getting better at it. Overall it was amazing and I would recommend!!!!

What would you improve about this program?
More help for drafting for the kids that aren’t for israel. And just in general the kids that aren’t from israel need more support and help from the madrichim and tzevet and it needs to be provided
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Shayah
9/10

#mechina_life

I came to mechina to learn, grow, experience, and meet Jews from all over the world, but I ended up doing so much more. The people you meet are one of a kind, and there really is nothing like kol ami.
After just a month of classes, activities, seminars about Jewish peoplehood, madasim, vaadot, tiyulim, more seminars, and much more, it's hard for me to imagine what I would be doing and where I would be in life if not for the mechina.

Mechina I'd a tough experience to describe, but it'd worth every penny and every second, I can garrentee that you won't regret it.

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What would you improve about this program?
Get rid of scedule on shabbat, people need time to rest, with the scedule you gas out by tge end of the second week.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Yuval
9/10

The best Gap year!

I had a lot of fun in this Gap year! The friends, the experience, the food and in general i had such a good time... i recommend everyone to come for a Gap year in Israel and especially for this program

What would you improve about this program?
More people from different places.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
David
9/10

Best place to go to before starting your life

I'm an Israeli that before drafting to the army decided that he wants a little more time to learn about things that usually we, Israelis, don't really think or learn about.
For me, opportunities is the best way to describe kol ami in a word.
In 6 month I have had opportunities to meet so many different people:
Jews from England, USA, Chile, South Africa, Australia; Israelis from all around the country; Germans; Palestinian who uses to be part of Hamas; 1 on 1 conversations with Ultra-Orthodox Jews; and much much more.
I also had the opportunity to learn things that I was never taught:
Jewdaism, leadership skills, how to talk against anti-israeli propoganda, politics, economy...
Im very happy that I joined kol ami, and it definitely changed my life, and I feel at a much better starting point then before. Unlike different programs, this place really gets you out of your bubble.
Its amazing how people from different countries, mentality, and beliefs can all live in the same place for 6 month and survive to tell. Of course there are difficulties, but we overcome them together.
If you want to challenge yourself and have a really meaningful experience, this is the place for you.
GL :)

What would you improve about this program?
Be more sensitive towards people who come to the mechina. Small simple things: asking more often how are you, be our friends more.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Elan
8/10

Great Year

Describing Kol Ami on a scale of 1-10 doesn’t do the program justice. The fun, challenging, educational, and crazy half year I’ve had included life long connections, interesting classes that taught me raw life skills, and best of all, strengthened my leadership abilities tremendously. There are many times that the program was challenging and made me doubt why I am here, but those moments were some of the main reasons why I feel like this is the best program for me, or anyone for that matter. Waking up early, working on our group dynamic, planning activities, and days that end late all are factors that were at first very difficult for me. After some time, it became easier and even natural for me to do these things and as the group dynamic improved I felt more and more like I belonged here. The main reason I highly recommend this program is because I look at anerixan gap year programs that my friends are on this year and see the amount of free time they have along with the less intense environment and used to get jealous, but quickly understood that I am always occupied, entertained, and learning here which is something that makes me so happy. I have met and made close connections with Israelis his year, have learned about myself and enjoyed being challegened the way I did. Again, I highly recommend this program. I have gained so much here with no regrets.

What would you improve about this program?
I think the main two factors the program needs to improve on is the training of the staff to become extra supportive to chulnikim and they also need to give us more independence. I think we need more time out of mechina together because it builds the dynamic of the group. I feel as though Kol Ami has strong opposition towards free nights and I never understood that really. Besides that, not much else.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Talia
8/10

Challening but an unforgettable experience

I am from London, United Kingdom. Mechina has been a very different experience to most Gap Year programmes. Although it has been challenging as a chulnik from abroad, I feel like I have immersed into Israeli culture, and have fully engaged with Israelis by living with them for 6 months.

Every programme has its ups and downs, but what I would say about mechina is that you go through downs together as a group. Because of the intense environment and social scene, you become a whole, experiencing and growing together.

If you're looking for a programme of psychical, social and academic challenges, this is the one for you. Be prepared to be creative with activities, learn in lots of lessons and grow through leadership skills.

The programme mixes between religious and secular, however if you are not used to being with people who keep nothing then I would suggest that you should apply to the Migdal Oz (Bnei Akiva) campus.

Our day to day schedule consists of lessons, committee time and activities. The programme is based on committees; where you organise and run what goes on. The committees include: Shabbat committee, content committee, trip committee, public relations committee and IDF committee. You are in charge of your experience, dependent on whether it is appropriate, and you can choose what happens in the mechina.

Kol Ami provides a chance to connect with people from all over the world, bonding over similarities and having interesting discussions over differences. From volunteering, to tiyulim, to survival challenges and exercise classes; there is so much to enjoy with Kol Ami.

If you're looking for a challenge then this is the place for you!!


What would you improve about this program?
I think that from the beginning there needs to be more intense ulpan for the chulnikim so it is easier when the programme changes to all hebrew speaking.
Yes, I recommend this program
Noam
9/10

Best thing you can do!!

Non of my friends did a gap year but I decided to do one, and I chose Kol Ami because it’s diversity, so much different people from all around Israel and all around the world. I met people that became my best friends and we became so close.
Another thing that is so good in Kol Ami is that I challenged myself with a lot of outdoor activities such as: navigation Week, Army-prep week, South challenge. There were the best weeks in mechina.
Also the regular weeks are amazing and I learned so much new things in mechina in classes of economy, philosophy, judaism, leadership skills etc.
So, my tip SIGN IN!

Yes, I recommend this program

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Meet the Alumni

About Kol Ami

Kol Ami is a life changing leadership program operated by the Jewish Agency for both Israelis and Jews from around the world. We strive to forge a deep, meaningful, and lasting connection amongst the next generation of Jews.

Our participants come...