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

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...

Reviews

9.17 Rating
based on 36 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 80.56%
  • 7-8 rating 19.44%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Housing 8.5
  • Support 8.5
  • Fun 9.2
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 8 of 36
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Sabrina
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best mechina for anyone who wants a meaningful experience before college or the army!!

I'm finishing up the '20-'21 Kol Ami gap year group and I would say that this is exactly the experience I needed before I go to college next year. Corona definitely had an impact on the program and yet I can say with confidence that the whole group is leaving Mechina having learned countless skills for their future, with so many amazing new friends and incredible experiences. I learned this year how much I want to travel the world. I was able to meet people from Norway, Holland, England, Italy, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and Israel and form deep meaningful connections with them all. I've learned so much about the world and gotten to have so many cool experiences that you can't get on a generic gap year program. I plan on staying in Israel to intern or volunteer for a few months before returning to the US.

Coming to Kol Ami, I was looking to enrich myself in the culture of Israel, learn about myself as a Jew and as a person, and meet people from around the world. I was able to do all these things but so much more as well! When I say I've come out with so much more I mean I've learned things I never expected to learn here. When living in such a close setting with 30 people, problems arise that the group needs to work through and you learn about yourself by observing how you react to those situations and the role you play in resolving them. This is just one of the many examples through which I learned more about myself in the end.

As a whole, this program is for anyone who needs a breather between high school and their next step but also wants a meaningful experience that they'll grow from. This is the only time you'll have a chance to spend a year just learning about yourself and improving, and this program is literally designed to help you do just that.

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Oriya
10/10
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!
















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Naomi
9/10
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.

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Tzvi
9/10
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.

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Avigayil
9/10
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.
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Koby
9/10
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.

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Hila
7/10
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.
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Daniel
8/10
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
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