The Be’eri Mechina

Progressive Zionist Leadership

  • רקע-הרים
  • כפר
  • שביל
  • דמויות-סופי

The Be’eri Mechina

Progressive Zionist Leadership

Be’eri is an academy for young, progressive and Zionist leadership, which runs an annual mechina – premilitary preparatory program (PPMP) located in Beit Berl, Israel. Named after Berl Katznelson, a prominent leader of the Labor and Zionist movements, the program inspired leadership, promotes democratic and egalitarian discourse in Israeli society and seeks to shape a Jewish – Zionist – Israeli culture based on humanistic values.

Each year, outstanding youth from diverse backgrounds join the program, driven by a deep sense of commitment to Israeli society. Our educational program combines Jewish studies with a young environment, including communal life, volunteer work, physical and mental skill developing and more.

The result is a life-changing experience for our students and graduates as passionate members of Israeli society.

Be’eri is an academy for young, progressive and Zionist leadership, which runs an annual mechina – premilitary preparatory program (PPMP) located in Beit Berl, Israel.

Named after Berl Katznelson, a prominent leader of the Labor and Zionist movements, the program inspired leadership, promotes democratic and egalitarian discourse in Israeli society and seeks to shape a Jewish – Zionist – Israeli culture based on humanistic values. 

Each year, outstanding youth from diverse backgrounds join the program, driven by a deep sense of commitment to Israeli society. 

Our educational program combines Jewish studies with a young environment, including communal life, volunteer work, physical and mental skill developing and more. The result is a life-changing experience for our students and graduates as passionate members of Israeli society.

“The future of Zionism depends  on whether  it will discover and develop  a broad human values that lie within it from the beginning of its existence, and by finding the key to the heart of the people, to create its adherence and encouragement through a full vision of civil redemption”

(Berl Katzenelson)

The Pillars of our vision

The four pillars of the mechina are founded on the vision of Berl Katzenelson (Be’eri), the spiritual leader of the labor movement:

אייקונים מעודכנים (3)
Democracy

Creating and understanding the importance, the characteristics and the limitations of democratic discourse will help our students become influential members of democratic society, aware of and responsible for its constant need of protection.

אייקון זהות
Jewish Zionist Identity

The Zionist movement led to the revival of the Jewish people. Through Jewish culture, we are able to examine the values relevant to our generation’s own reality and lifestyle. Pursuing a combination of Judaism and Zionism strengthens our student’s connection to the Jewish people, to the state of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, and to a life of participation in Israeli society.

אייקון שיוויון
Equality

Be’eri is a home for all sectors of Israeli society. Motivated by a civic and egalitarian agenda, we see the pursuit of fair social discourse, solidarity and relationship building between different sectors of the population, as the key to healing Israeli society.

אייקון הגשמה
Hagshama: A sense of fulfillment.

The mechina is a year of preparation for a life of fulfillment. Through processes of gaining knowledge, taking social action, discussing values and building meaningful relationships, we hope to instill a desire and ability in our students to take action across Israeli society, becoming figures of significant impact on their own communities.

From Talmud to action:

Everyday life at the mechina

Life at the mechina can be devided into five core elements.

אייקונים מעודכנים (2)
Work Weeks

During the year, the students work for a total of about 40 days, the purpose of which is to earn most of the annual tuition. This is a unique phenomenon uncharacteristic of similar frameworks. It  creates an equal opportunity for all youth who wish to join the mechina, regardless of their financial situation. Furthermore, the work gives the students a sense of personal responsibility and independence. The students themselves choose jobs with added value, such as agriculture and archeological excavations.

אייקונים מעודכנים (9)
Military Preparation

The year of mechina prepares our students for a meaningful service in the IDF, through physical training, field weeks, personal meetings and lessons dealing with values, moral dilemmas and different mental situations. We see the IDF service as an opportunity for our graduates to meet various sectors of Israeli society and to expand their circles of influence through significant positions in command and office ranks.

אייקונים מעודכנים (1)
Social Action

The social action taken in the mechina reflects our motivation to prepare a generation of leaders for impacting their own communities. The encounter with underprivileged populations and the day to day challenges they face shapes our student’s actions in the world and gives them the experience and understanding to serve them in the future, when they become policy makers themselves.

אייקונים מעודכנים (8)
Communal Life

A life of community and independence creates a sense of responsibility and of partnership, and encourages open and supportive discourse. We believe that creating a broad impact on society begins with establishing friendships and close relationships during the year of the mechina. These form the foundations needed for students to fulfill their worldview as adults.

אייקונים מעודכנים (7)
Deep Learning

Our goal at Be’eri mechina is to prepare our students for a life of social action. The various topics of study are aimed at helping shape an independent worldview, placing an emphasis on knowledge, critical thinking and opinion development. The main subjects covered are politics, current affairs, philosophy, economics, leadership and activism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Jewish thought, poetry and Hebrew literature.

Our goal at Be’eri mechina is to prepare our students for a life of social action. The various topics of study are aimed at helping shape an independent worldview, placing an emphasis on knowledge, critical thinking and opinion development. The main subjects covered are politics, current affairs, philosophy, economics, leadership and activism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Jewish thought, poetry and Hebrew literature.

A life of community and independence creates a sense of responsibility and of partnership, and encourages open and supportive discourse. We believe that creating a broad impact on society begins with establishing friendships and close relationships during the year of the mechina. These form the foundations needed for students to fulfill their worldview as adults.

The social action taken in the mechina reflects our motivation to prepare a generation of leaders for impacting their own communities. The encounter with underprivileged populations and the day to day challenges they face shapes our student’s actions in the world and gives them the experience and understanding to serve them in the future, when they become policy makers themselves.

The year of mechina prepares our students for a meaningful service in the IDF, through physical training, field weeks, personal meetings and lessons dealing with values, moral dilemmas and different mental situations. We see the IDF service as an opportunity for our graduates to meet various sectors of Israeli society and to expand their circles of influence through significant positions in command and office ranks.

During the year, the students work for a total of about 40 days, the purpose of which is to earn most of the annual tuition. This is a unique phenomenon uncharacteristic of similar frameworks. It  creates an equal opportunity for all youth who wish to join the mechina, regardless of their financial situation. Furthermore, the work gives the students a sense of personal responsibility and independence. The students themselves choose jobs with added value, such as agriculture and archeological excavations.

Who are we looking for?

  • Young
  • Intelligent
  • Curious
  • Caring
  • Influential
Leaders

who wish to contribute to Israeli society and to the State of Israel

Be’eri Graduates program

Be’eri Graduates program

Be’eri Graduates program is a leadership program for young men and women aged 20-25. Over the course of three weeks, the participants are provided with room and board in the pastoral environment of the Beit Berl campus. Divided into small study groups, classes are given in various fields, led by a team of esteemed lecturers. 

The educational program focuses on Zionism, Jewish identity, Hebrew poetry and literature, politics, economics and society, gender, the Jewish-Arab condition and social activism. 

 

This is done through lectures and courses, tours, trips and meetings with intellectuals and practitioners working in Israeli society.

 A system for individual and group guidance is provided throughout the program.

 

We encourage young adults to build and formulate their worldview. The program meets participants after their military service, a step before making significant life choices, such as where to study and which field of occupation to choose. 

Our main goal is to offer guidance and assistance to our graduates upon integrating into the public and political spheres, the main areas of influence in Israeli society.



Be’eri Graduates program

Be’eri Graduates program

Be’eri Graduates program is a leadership program for young men and women aged 20-25. Over the course of three weeks, the participants are provided with room and board in the pastoral environment of the Beit Berl campus. Divided into small study groups, classes are given in various fields, led by a team of esteemed lecturers. 

The educational program focuses on Zionism, Jewish identity, Hebrew poetry and literature, politics, economics and society, gender, the Jewish-Arab condition and social activism. 

This is done through lectures and courses, tours, trips and meetings with intellectuals and practitioners working in Israeli society.

 A system for individual and group guidance is provided throughout the program.

We encourage young adults to build and formulate their worldview. The program meets participants after their military service, a step before making significant life choices, such as where to study and which field of occupation to choose. 

Our main goal is to offer guidance and assistance to our graduates upon integrating into the public and political spheres, the main areas of influence in Israeli society.

 

Our staff

Educational Staff

ראש המכינה יואב זנאתי לביא
Yoav Znati Lavi,
Director
מנהלת חינוכית מורן קובה
Moran Kuba,
Educational Manager
רכזת הדרכה הודיה פטר
Hodaya Peter,
Educational Coordinator
גלעד גולדבלט מדריך
Gilad Goldblat,
Group Leader
מיכל טל מדריכה
Michal Tal,
Group Leader

Our Teachers

 Efrat Shechter,
Resilience workshop for individual and group development 

Read more →

Amnon Arbel,
Politics

Read more →

Michal Schuster Flancia,
Hebrew poetry and literature

Read more →

Michael Keren,
Gender and Sexuality

Read more →

Efi Aharon,
The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Read more →

Meitav Dagan,
Current Affairs

Read more →

Guy Pade,
Society and Economics

Read more →

Shai Wolheim,
Jewish Thought

Read more →

Five fingers /
physical training

Read more →

Board of Directors

Noga Botansky
Member of the Board

Read more →

Yossi Maimon,
CEO of the Berl Katzenelson Foundation

Read more →

Rami Hod,
Director General of the Idea Center and the Socio-Economic College, The Berl Katzenelson Foundation
Read more →

Stav Gil,
Deputy Director of Education at “Acharay “

Read more →

Amram Mitzna
Retired Chairman of the Board

Read more →

Yiftach Dabush
Member of the board

Read more →

Why chose Mechinat Be’eri?

 

We asked our graduates:

Roni Zilberman, Class of 2016-2017
The question "Why Mechinat Be'eri?" Has been resonating in my head since completing the mechina. I was asked this question numerous times during my army service, and when I myself became a group leader in a pre-army program. The truth is, I have no idea what drew me to Be'eri in the first place. But looking back I can say it was the most accurate decision I could make for myself. It is Be’eri that opens its gates to the whole of Israeli society. It is Be'eri that is named after the father of the labor movement (Berl Katzenelson), whose path to equality and social justice is still unfamiliar to many. It is Be’eri that is situated in the vicinity of Beit Berl, which symbolizes coexistence between sectors of society and an attempt to resolve the conflict between ourselves and our neighbors. It is Be'eri that confronts us with the difficult questions and allows us to find the answers ourselves.
Noah Hirchson, Class of 2018-2019
Up until the mechina, I didn’t really feel a special connection to my Jewish identity. I had a Bat Mitzvah, I prayed in a minyan and was familiar with traditional songs and melodies, but I didn’t feel that taking part in it over the years moved anything in my heart. Engaging in my Israeli identity through encounters with Judaism and Zionism throughout the mechina year was a challenging and eye-opening experience. Through lessons on Judaism I began to understand its meaning from a secular perspective as well as its religious significance. By reading texts by Zionist pioneers, various politicians and trail blazers of Israeli society, I began to draw values ​​from my own Jewish identity. Occupying myself with these questions of identity and the tensions between Zionism and Judaism has led me to answers regarding my place in the world. I now have a deeper understanding of myself as a secular Israeli living in a Jewish state of Zionist nature.
Yuval Shifman, Class of 2019-2020
"Neither the shy learns nor the strict teaches" After years of memorizing material for Ministry of Education exams, I arrived at Be'eri and for the first time was exposed to meaningful and critical learning. I encountered the foundations and importance of Israeli democracy, learned how to understand and analyze the statements of politicians, media headlines, conflicts and national and international issues. The learning experience in the mechina is based on a discourse that combines facts and perspectives. These create a deep and fascinating discussion, in which everyone has a place to express their views and have them challenged by opposing arguments. At the mechina, I was given the opportunity to establish and fine-tune the thoughts and values ​​that lead me in my life.
Gal Gavish, Class of 2016-2017
The paid work experience at the mechina is very unique. It is planned by the students themselves and they are responsible for all its aspects: the type of work, the location and duration. It is a learning experience filled with challenges. The work environment exposes the group in a new light. Suddenly difficulties and struggles arise that are not always easy to solve. But along with the challenges, new relationships form. Personally, I have developed a resilience, endurance, independence and sense of responsibility thanks to the work. Working in hotels in Eilat, for example, allowed me to meet employees from different and complex backgrounds, ones I would not necessarily have met under any other circumstances; veteran soldiers, permanent hotel workers, foreign workers and more. All of these have made me much more appreciative of service providers, employees who are often considered transparent.
Uri Malka Reshef, Class of 2019-2020
During the mechina, we volunteered in a variety of platforms and institutions - from working in schools, with children suffering from learning and social difficulties, personally tutoring children and adolescents from welfare families and people with disabilities, to volunteering with the Arab population and with adults in nursing homes and geriatric wards. The community work in the mechina exposed us to a variety of populations we would not necessarily have encountered under any other circumstances, and faced us with complex situations. The very encounter with marginal populations made us aware of the gaps between different populations and encouraged us to work for change and improvement of society and the environment.
Yuval Tsalach, Class of 2016-2017
The mechina as a framework for communal living enables in-depth preparation for service in the IDF, which requires you "give up" your privacy and deal with sharing personal space with people from all over Israeli society. Thanks to the meaningful discourse at the mechina, which clarifies the term "significant service”, I was able to define my goals and aspirations for myself and receive the tools to face the dilemmas that rise throughout one’s military service.
Sapir Gordon, Class of 2018-2019
Many elements make the mechina year a meaningful, educational and life-changing experience. The communal life is undoubtedly one of them. Within a few months as a group, we’d created a common language, a culture of discussion and decision-making. We built a trust and openness with one another, going through many ups and downs and eventually finding a home in one another. As a group, we lifted each other up at trying times, lighting each other’s personal strengths, but not afraid to give the criticism and feedback needed to improve ourselves as individuals and as a group. We went through so many experiences and emotions together. These are friendships that have stuck with me regardless of distance and time. I am sure that in the future, when we go out into the civilian world, we will continue to see each other as close friends and partners in a shared life of the values ​​we believe in. For me, the personal connections formed in the mechina will always go with me, they are the foundation for everything else.
Previous
Next

The Be’eri Mechina 

Progressive Zionist Leadership

Beit Berl

Interested? Contact us

 

 

Interested? Contact us

The Be’eri Mechina 

Progressive Zionist Leadership

Beit Berl