Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Mechina for Americans (and other English Speakers)


Way back when, it took me a few tries until I found the right Yeshiva for me (but I did). The selection available today to young people today just wasn't around back then.

What I did learn is that not everyone fits into the "misgeret" of the standard yeshiva or yeshiva program. I certainly didn't (and I wasn't a troublemaker - just doing my own thing).

In recent years the concept of the Mechina program has really taken off.

Mechina is essentially an “academy” where post-high school yeshiva guys can sit and learn for a year, while simultaneously preparing themselves to be officers and leaders in the IDF, particularly in special units.

Besides Torah studies, the year includes physical training, leadership training, advanced academic studies, army/outdoors skills, and more.

And it’s a fact, guys who graduate from these academies tend to go on to be officers in the army in special units.

A few years ago, some graduates of this system got together and created a yeshiva based on the Mechina model specifically for post-high school Americans (and other English speakers).

They called it the “
Leadership Yeshiva Acadamy” or LYA.

Located up North in Hispin (in fact, Torah studies are partially integrated with the Israelis in the Hispin Hesder Yeshiva), it is a one of a kind program.

Their goal is to help young men develop their Jewish leadership (and personal) potential.

Students are not expected to go join the army (though some do). Rather they are completing the program with the life skills to be leaders in their communities (wherever they end up choosing to live).

Unlike most yeshivas which only have a few trips or hikes over the year, a significant portion of the students time at LYA involves hiking, bike trips, learning about Israel by visiting on-site, navigation courses, a "gibush", a "masa alunkot", volunteering, and so on.

LYA offers college transferable credits for courses in Political Science and Israeli Archeology.

If you or your son loves Israel, wants to learn Torah, but also needs (or wants) a more active, physical, interactive environment, and wants to develop skills not normally associated with the standard sit-in-the–beis-medrash all day program, then
Leadership Yeshiva Academy should be on your short list.

They have a very comprehensive and interesting website (I like the talking rabbi) with a number of interesting videos.

LYA is accepting application right now - so
go apply right now.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד


Fern @ Life on the Balcony said...

Do you know if LYA accepts baalei teshuva? Or is it meant solely for students coming from yeshiva high schools? I know of a young guy who might be interested in this sort of yeshiva, but he attended a Conservative Jewish day school, so while he is not completely ignorant, his high school education was not as vigorous as an Orthodox school.

Baila said...

Is there an equivalent for girls?

BBJ said...

I was going to ask, do they take thirty-something women who are burning out on teaching?

Anonymous said...

Fern: I asked someone to ask someone to get you an answer.

Anonymous said...

I was forwarded the following answer:


Thanks for you question at the blog. LYA accepts baalei teshuva

If you would like to learn more about LYA I will be happy to send you materials or contact you personally.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have additional questions

Alon Moreshet

Founder & Executive Director
Leadership Yeshiva Academy
Golan Heights 12925 Israel

Mobile: +972-52-5166007
Office: +972-4-6763088
Fax: +972-4-6600142
E-mail: alon@lya.org.il


Fern @ Life on the Balcony said...

Joe--Elon contacted me directly (!), with the same info. I forwarded the website address to the young man I had in mind.

Anonymous said...

hmm shame they did not have this 15years ago when I was in the Yeshiva system, all they taught us was to be drones to the Rabbi De Jour

Anonymous said...


Esser Agaroth said...

B"H I have not fully researched this particular branch. However, over all, the pre-IDF mechina program is nothing more than an indoctrination into the cult of mamlachtiyuth (State Loyalism, even at the expense of Torah).

...yet another program of the government to keep the religious under control.

JoeSettler said...

You've got to be kidding!

Esser Agaroth said...

Nope. Time to choose, Joe. Torah or loyalty to the State, because the conflict between the two is getting to big to do enough pilpul to reconcile what the state has planned.

I recommend you look to leaders like Rav Dov Lior and Rav Yisrael Ariel and the like, who can tell the difference.

Rabbeim are getting arrested for teaching Torah and halacha (Rav Palei in Yitzhar and Rav Ariel in the Yair Naveh case. I believe you remember the Naveh case).

Religious Zionists are eventually going to have to make a choice.

Better sooner than later.

Like I said, I do not know this particular program personally, so I will reserve judgment.

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