The Rabin Preparatory academy works to promote solidarity and pluralistic and democratic society. The Mechina educates its alumni to have a broad humanistic worldview based on consciousness and value-based decisions; will maintain a communal lifestyle, which combines the culture of the Jewish people and its heritage; Publicly involved and initiative leaders in their environment; Have a desire and commitment to independent learning and personal growth; They will serve a full and socially significant military service and establish their home in the State of Israel.
On November 4, 1995, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a Jewish assassin. Out of the rift, and with the aim of working to repair it, the pre-military preparatory academy “Rabin” for Leadership was established in Oranim in the summer of 1998. Today, the preparatory academy has three branches: Mizra, Haifa, and Kibbutz Adamit.
The Mechina is built on four educational foundations:
- Group life: The educational process in the Mechina takes place in a group setting (up to 22 participants in a group), accompanied by a counselor. Each group maintains an autonomous space for growth, which includes group discussions, joint responsibility for tasks, and a dynamic workshop led by a professional facilitator.
- Education: The study topics in the Mechina were chosen to expand the knowledge and deepen the understanding of the forces operating in our society. In this way, participants will be able to develop a critical and well-established worldview and act in their surroundings in a sound and rational way. The main subjects of study are society, education, economics, Judaism and Zionism, the Jewish-Arab conflict, and gender. In addition, there are a variety of elective classes: sustainability, art, psychology, philosophy, activism, and more. The annual program also includes seminars and educational trips. All activities outside the Mechina areas are coordinated with the Nature Center and take place under the guidelines of the Ministry of Education for the Pre-army academies department.
- Community mission: The community mission includes two areas: educational work – in schools, community centers, learning centers, institutions for at-risk youth, and personal tutoring. Agricultural work – on nearby farms. The work is done in teams of 3-5 participants and each team is accompanied by a mature instructor.
- Co-management: The educational process in the Mechina gradually transfers the full management of the agenda to the participants, to encourage responsibility, independence, and involvement. Life at the Mechina is managed by the participants, according to different teams: education, paid work, recruitment of next year’s participants, holidays, Shabbat ceremonies, etc. Main decisions related to daily life are democratically made in the Mechina plenum.
Participation in the costs of the preparatory program
The pre-army academy maintains equal opportunities so that every potential participant can join regardless of their financial situation. The participants work for about 40 days during the year, and thus they finance a considerable part of the activity on their own (in addition to the Ministry of Defense budgeting and a symbolic parental payment). Their work also gives the participants the values of responsibility and manual labor, and an unmediated encounter with the labor market and with the Israeli society.
Preparing for the army
The preparatory program has no aspiration to replace the IDF with training for the military profession. However, part of the week is devoted to preparation for the army.
The preparation includes two workouts a week, a weekly class dedicated to IDF, discussions about meaningful service and service goals, and assistance with the IDF and “Meitav” in extracting personal data.
Shana Bet (Second year)
Shana Bet is a continuation program for graduates of pre-military preparatory programs who are interested in continuity and joint fulfillment. The duration of the program is 6.5 months (August-February). The program consists of three main elements: group life, studies, and mission. At the end of the program, the participants continue to be accompanied throughout their military service by a staff member, to examine common community life after military service. Today, Hechalutz’s Shana Bet program operates in the Hadar neighborhood in Haifa. There are 3 more Academies that Shana Bet work with – the Jerusalem Pre-military Academy, Be’eri Pre-military Academy and Telem – the Pre Military Academy by the Reform Movement in Israel.