web analytics
August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



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.


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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
ISIS in Quneitra
Updates from Kuneitra, Syria [video]
Latest News Stories
ISIS in Quneitra

With new neighbors along our Syrian border, we thought we’d check out what they’re saying and what’s going on…

Jewish Comedienne Joan Rivers gives an impromptu speech on why Hamas should be wiped out.

We wish a speedy recovery to Joan Rivers, the straight-shooting Jewish comedienne whose exact analysis of the war was, “Hamas started it.”

An IDF soldier who was critically injured last week by a rocket that hit Ashdod died from his wounds today. He is Israel’s 71st casualty in the war. Sergeant Natanel Maman, 21, from Gan Yavne, an Ordnance Corps soldier, was critically injured by a rocket that hit Ashdod last Friday. He was promoted posthumously from […]

Imam speaks against ISIS to a  Michigan"crowd" of approximately 50 people.

More than 200,000 Muslims live in Michigan. Fifty of them showed up for a protest against ISIS.

Sofer, who may have died from dehydration after falling in a ravine while hiking, is being buried in Beit Shemesh.

The Boycott Israel movement, so far, is more bark than bite.

The bad news is that ISIS and Al Qaeda are on the Syrian Golan. The good news is that every terrorist in Syria is killing each other.

Netanyahu gets support from Congressmen on House Armed Services Committee

Some Chareidi entertainers thrilled the crowd on Jerusalem’s Ben Yehuda Street with some Jewish entertainment.    

Including Gaza as part of the Palestinian Authority works to Abbas’ benefit because it will solidify position that a Palestinian Authority state needs to on contiguous territory, meaning that Sderot residents can start packing up and leaving their homes as well as their bomb shelters, which would save Hamas lots of time and money when […]

Many of the Syrian soldiers were not armed when ISIS captured and then slaughtered them.

Police are still working to confirm the identity of a body that was found by searchers hunting for missing yeshiva student Aharon Sofer.

Iconic pro-Israel comedian Joan Rivers is in critical condition following a throat procedure.

UN troops fled their posts along the Syrian-Israel border after they decided it was too dangerous for them to do their job.

In the wake of a 12th Israel-Gaza cease-fire, Britain’s Jews and Muslims have issued a joint call for peace.

The investigation shed light on the movements of the drug traffickers operating under Hezbollah’s direction in Lebanon and Israel.

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Baby wearing a Hamas head band attends a Hamas "victory" rally in central Gaza City, on August 27, 2014, following the latest cease-fire.

Gazans overwhelmingly support rocket attacks against Israel, but they prefer other methods of attack even more.

William Schabas, named to chair the UNHRC Commission on Gaza, deep  its his repeated denunciations of Israeli leaders as war criminals.

Simon Wiesenthal Center called on US to denounce the rigged UNHRC Commission on Gaza.

Neither side achieved its stated goal: the Gaza blockade will not be lifted and Hamas will not be disarmed.

Israelis in Gaza border communities need to get out; who will help them?

The US has been sidelined in the Middle East. Egypt, the UAE and the Saudis are the new police force.

Rockets launched at Jerusalem were fired from Gazan schools compound.

Al Qaeda affiliate released an American journalist on Sunday, Aug. 24.

Whether Hamas IS equivalent to ISIS or Hamas simply hearts ISIS remains unclear.

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: