Kol Ami Mechina Leadership Gap Year in Israel

Video and Photos


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.

  • 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

Related Programs

Questions & Answers

As of now we have five different locations in Israel. Three near Jerusalem, and two up North. We find that each branch provides a different type of living style since they are each on different campuses and in different locations in Israel. All campuses have common spaces, communal rooms and showers, and a Kol Ami designated area within the Kibbutz or Village. Though each living style is a little...


9.2 Rating
based on 35 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 82.86%
  • 7-8 rating 17.14%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Housing 8.6
  • Support 8.5
  • Fun 9.2
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 8 of 35
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

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.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

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.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

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
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

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.