Kol Ami Mechina Leadership Gap Year in Israel

Video and Photos

Discuss the most sensitive and meaningful topics
Discuss the most sensitive and meaningful topics
Life long friendships
Life long friendships
The Kol Ami Family
The Kol Ami Family
Kol Ami has 5 beautiful campuses from Carmiel in the North to Kiryam Anavim by Jerusalem
Kol Ami has 5 beautiful campuses from Carmiel in the North to Kiryam Anavim by Jerusalem

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

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

92%
based on 35 reviews
  • Housing 8.6
  • Support 8.5
  • Fun 9.2
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 31 - 35 of 35
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Ezra
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Gap Year Story

Enrolling to Kol Ami has given me the opportunity to work significantly on personal growth and behavioral skills that will surely help me for my future path living in Israel. For me personally, I’ve thought about serving in the IDF for a while. But I wasn’t fully prepared to take on this huge commitment without spending a gap year in order to fully understand what i’m getting myself into. This program is truly a wonderful gift for both Israelis and foreigners who are deeply interested in learning existential values on leadership skills and teamwork. The participants will have to step out of there comfort zones when it comes to living with a group of people, waking up early and sleeping late at night, attending valuable classes on jewish peoplehood, traveling on hikes and learning to navigate with tools that you’re given, practicing and improving he/she’s Hebrew, ect. But I think the main purpose for Kol Ami is working as a team rather as an individual. There will be points in time during your mechina experience where you feel like giving up and reluctant to participate each day, but those are the exact moments where you have to gain he strength and courage to think "even though i’m deadbeat tired and want to sleep in bed all day, i’m still going to work and participate in the daily activities". Mechina will teach you to stay strong and have this motivating mindset to be apart of things because in the long run, you will make dear friends who can potentially stay close with you outside of mechina. As a chulnick coming from Los Angeles it was definitely difficult at times to surround myself with Hebrew speakers and not understanding half of the conversations in front of you, but you use your skills in your head to adapt and learn the language which will create a strong bond between you as a foreigner and the Israelis. If there is anyone who is planning on bravely volunteering in the army, think of mechina as a pre-army program that will teach you very valuable lessons before you go into the army. I can’t stress how important it is for he/she to fully come to the understanding what mother mechina will do for your personal growth in the future.

What would you improve about this program?
I think what needs to be improved is the housing, because at times our rooms need renovation
Ruby
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Do it

If you are interested in developing your leadership skills, learning, travelling and creating amazing friendships then Kol Ami is the place for you. You will be challenged and pushed out of your comfort zone but also have insane amounts of fun and feel very much at home. The mechina requires that you take responsibility for yourself and the group and work as a team. Each individual plays an important role in the group - whether it’s planning tiyulim, creating the daily schedule or cooking for everyone. You will learn a lot about yourself, others and the world and be very well prepared for the army or for wherever life takes you!

A photo of me and a friend from Mechina
Shani
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing 6 months!

My experience in Kol Ami was incredible! I got to meet Jews from overseas, learn about Jewish Peoplehood, and strengthen my Jewish identity.

It wasn’t always fun and I had some hard moments but it made me stronger, more independent and responsible!

It’s great for Israelis and Diaspora Jews alike and strengthens the bond between them.

The living quarters, classroom and kitchen were all new and nice, the staff is really amazing and the schedule keeps you constantly busy.

Our days started around 7am and ended around 11pm which made the group really close and united. We also had many hikes throughout Israel which were beautiful, and we had workouts 3 times a week which were actually enjoyable.

We were devided into different committees which devided the responsibilities of the Mechina- Management, Food, Community Involvement, Schedule, Army Prep, Shabbat and Culture, Recruitment and Hiking.

It was an amazing experience and it was worth every second of my time before the army!

P.s. the Carmiel Shlucha is the best!

What would you improve about this program?
The program heavily relies on the participants playing their part in the group and taking initiative so I think the program should give people more ambition before it starts.
Eli
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

750 words?! Gap Year in Israel

So...yeah, I wrote down a whole nice review and everything and then as I’m posting it the website tells me it’s gotta be 750 characters. So here we go let me start again, this program has honestly been one of the best experiences of my life, I’ve made friends I’ll never part with, learned about things I never even thought of learning before, learned about myself- my weaknesses , my strengths, how to improve, how to help others improve, it for me out of my shell as a pretty shy person and overall has been an amazing experience, I highly recommend this program to anyone looking for a great fun program where they’ll get everything they want in a gap-year program especially if you’re overseas looking for a program that’ll accept your language troubles and where those same troubles won’t prevent you from making friends or having the best experience you can have. Amen brothuh

What would you improve about this program?
Making it a year long program instead of a half year which it is now
Maya
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Unforgettable Experience

This unique gap year experience allowed me the opportunity to learn more about Israel, myself, my Jewish roots, world wide culture, and the capability that I have to form deep and meaningful relationships. Since Kol Ami is an Israeli Mechina, I was able to form friendships with both native Israelis and students form all around the world. If you are looking for an unforgettable experience in Israel, Kol Ami is for you!

What would you improve about this program?
With any new experience comes its challenges, and though living in a foreign country for year was difficult, it built me into the person I am today.

Interviews

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...