web analytics
August 1, 2015 / 16 Av, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


The Frum Student’s Alternative to Yeshiva in Israel

A mechina is based on traditional Torah learning, but it also dedicates a significant chunk of its curriculum to developing Torah-based leadership skills and real-life tools outside of the classroom
Mechina boys learning with Rav Dovid Abrahomovitz (L.)

Mechina boys learning with Rav Dovid Abrahomovitz (L.)

There is a third way, according to Atlas, and this is what he and Rav Shapira emphasize and nurture in the boys who study at Yeud.  They have the opportunity to, yes, of course, study Jewish texts, but also to learn how to live a full Jewish life, how to take care of others, to see the connection between all Jews, to take what they learn formally and show them how to continue that connection and love of the connection throughout their lives – that is the goal.

Some boys who come to Israel for a year to be in a yeshiva don’t have the “sitzfleish” or inclination to study within four walls all day.  These boys end up going into Jerusalem and hang out on Ben Yehuda Street for hours, sometimes days on end.  Rather than having a good Jewish learning experience, they turn off and do things that are destructive to themselves, to Judaism and to their connection to the Jewish world.

Jonathan Sulski was born and spent his early years in Johannesburg, South Africa, but went to high school in Dallas, Texas, where he attended the Yavneh Academy.  Yavneh is a highly competitive school:  94% of its faculty having graduate degrees, it offers nearly a dozen AP courses and has a low student-faculty ratio.  Sulski is now a mechanical engineering student at Drexel University.  He was not interested in a “slouch year” program in Israel, but wanted the ability to get out of the classroom, and connect his Torah learning to the people and the land of Israel, as well.

Sulski told The Jewish Press, “Mechinat Yeud offered just what I was looking for. It provided the perfect balance between learning and exploring and getting to know the country. My year spent at Yeud was one of my greatest life experiences.”

By offering young men the opportunity to develop many different types of connections to Judaism and the Homeland of the Jewish people, to combine it with pure text learning, the Yeud staff and administration believes many more young Jewish men will have a Jewishly fulfilling experience, one that will last them their entire lifetimes.

The goal of Mechnat Yeud, according to Atlas, is to prepare the students religiously, spiritually, physically and emotionally for the next stages of their lives as proud Jews committed to Torah, to the State of Israel and to their future families and communities.

One of the best breaks Yeud has had was its ability to hire Josh Ettinger, originally from Detroit, Michigan, who made Aliyah in 2004.  Ettinger studied for two years at the prestigious Yeshivat Har Etzion (known by most, simply, as “Gush”), served in the Israel Defense Forces in the Sayeret division of the Golani Brigade, and completed a BA in political science and army strategics from Bar Ilan University.

Ettinger’s brains, brawn, Zionist spirit and American Jewish beginnings makes him the perfect program director of Mechinat Yeud.  Ettinger lives on the campus with his wife and two young children; Yeud barbecues are held outside their home on a regular basis.

Unlike Noah Lerner, Matan Geller always knew he would study in Israel after high school and before college.  Geller is from Skokie, a Jewish suburb of Chicago.  Geller’s parents are both strong Zionists and he has always loved the Israeli culture.  For Geller, Mechina Yeud felt very natural, something he would have looked for if it had not existed.  The one issue for Geller is that he really wanted a program that was not solely text learning, but where he would also have the opportunity to learn with Israelis as he was particularly interested in being immersed in Israeli culture.

Geller told The Jewish Press, “If I wanted to learn all day in a Beit Midrash, I might as well have stayed home in Chicago, but I wanted to be in Israel, the place G-d gave us, the whole thing, and not just what’s inside the books.”  Because of his particular Hebrew aptitude and desire to learn with Israelis, Geller is able to learn with the students in the hesder yeshiva program Yeud partners with, so that his is a total immersion experience.

Of the dozen Mechina Yeud program participants thus far, the vast majority returned to the States to attend college.  Only one has already made Aliyah, and is waiting for his call-up date from the IDF.  Another current participant is thinking seriously about staying in Israel when the year ends.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Frum Student’s Alternative to Yeshiva in Israel”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Matt Lee of the Associated Press at the State Department press briefing.
ObameDeal Exposed: It’s not ‘Secret’ from Congress but not in Writing
Latest News Stories

There were no injuries, but the bus was badly damaged.

Matt Lee of the Associated Press at the State Department press briefing.

State Dept. claims Congress is “looped in,” but IAEA head refuse to testify at Senate hearings.

They are throwing rocks and blocks at the drivers as they drive by.

“Families should not be stuck paying hidden fees, or buying ‘premium’ seats, simply because they wish to be seated together on crowded flights.”

Arabs threw firebombs and stones at Jewish people, homes and cars all week long, yet the mainstream media missed most of the reports.

The IDF and police are combing Judea and Samaria to search and arrest the attackers.

“Yesha” and Binyamin Regional Council leaders said the attack “is not the path of Jews in Judea and Samaria.”

Saudi Arabia may buy $5.4 billion worth of PAC-3 missiles as part of an effort by the Obama to soothe Riyadh’s anger over the nuclear agreement with Iran. The State Dept. approved the Lockheed missile sale, which also would be another plum for the military-industrial complex. Lockheed stated, “Lockheed Martin is supporting the US government […]

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a statement after this mornings’ arson-murder, apparently by  price-tag terrorists, near Shechem (Nablus): I am shocked over this reprehensible and horrific act. This is an act of terrorism in every respect. The State of Israel takes a strong line against terrorism regardless of who the perpetrators are. I have ordered […]

Thousands of security forces have been deployed to the Temple Mount. Mother and brother of baby are in critical condition.

The initial investigation indicates that Price Tag vandals have now graduated to murder.

California Democratic Congressman will vote against Iran deal because it fails to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear threshold state.

Hamas said that the unity government’s reshuffle was “unconstitutional and outside consensus.”

Jewish community leaders argued these “stolpersteine” — German for stumbling blocks — were an inappropriate form of remembrance because people would step on them.

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Cong. Juan Vargas (D-CA-51)

California Democratic Congressman will vote against Iran deal because it fails to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear threshold state.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. July 29, 2015.

Kerry justifies keeping Iran deal “side deals” from the American public, while skipping Israel on ME trip.

A poll suggesting American Jews support the Iran deal is flawed, while a new poll reveals the opposite.

Netanyahu called Pollard’s wife over news of his impending release from prison.

12,000 people filled Times Square at the Stop Iran Now rally in NY’s Times Square.

The NYC rally against the Iran deal must show Congress, which must show the world, that Americans don’t support this deal.

Read “Catch the Jew” to learn the truth about Israel, Israelis, Arab Palestinians and the havoc-wreaking NGOs in the region.

Kuwaiti-American 24 year old murdered four US marines in a drive-by shooting on Thursday.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/the-frum-students-alternative-to-yeshiva-study-in-israel/2013/02/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: