Leadership Programs for Immigrant Men and Women

Yemin Orde's Gap Year Leadership Programs for Immigrant Men and Women are the only such programs in Israel specifically designed to meet the unique needs of marginalized at-risk youth. Additionally, there programs operate under the auspices of Village Way Educational Initiatives and are supported through private philanthropy.

The Men's Mechina (as it is known in Hebrew) was established in 2000 to empower young Israeli men from immigrant backgrounds with the skills necessary to excel in their mandatory military service. The program also helps ensure that these young men can thrive in their civilian life that follows.

Since 2000, the intensive 10-month program, which is located in the northern development town of Hatzor Haglilit, is filled to capacity.

The Women's Mechina, which is known as IsraElite, was established in 2013 to empower young women from the margins of Israeli society with the tools necessary to rise to leadership positions in their national service and beyond. The intensive 10-month program brings young women from around the country to the northern development town of Migdal Haemek, where they live, learn, and volunteer together.

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The majority of participants in both the men's and women's programs are immigrants or children of immigrants from Ethiopia or the former Soviet Union. They come from cities and towns all around Israel, and all are from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Measuring Success

Both gap year leadership programs have succeeded in imbuing marginalized young men and women with a sense of belonging and social responsibility.

This special documentary below portrays the unequivocal success of the Yemin Orde gap-year program in instilling self-worth, character, values and determination in young Ethiopian immigrants. With English subtitles.

Learn more about the Men's Mechina.

Learn more about the Women's Mechina.