MECHINAT AVNER AKKO
IDF, Community in the Galilee, education,
and social activity
Avner Akko- Here to Connect!
Mechinat Avner Akko is an 18-month pre-army preparatory program that is creating the next generation of modern pioneers and Israeli leadership. The Mechina attracts the best and brightest Zionist-religious youth from across Israel and brings them to Akko in an effort to strengthen the Jewish identity of the city, engage in serious Torah learning, volunteer with Jewish and Arab residents of the city and prepare physically and mentally for a meaningful IDF service. Our students and teachers live in apartments throughout Akko’s city center, in an effort to develop meaningful relationships and community engagement programs in this once thriving Jewish community.
Founded in 2014, by Rav Avraham Getz, the Mechina seeks out a cohort of talented and motivated Zionist young people to strengthen the city of Akko – economically, physically and spiritually – and connects them on an intimate level with the city, it’s people, and its many challenges, in the hopes that after having supported and bonded with the city and its residents, they will ultimately decide to return to the city after completion of the IDF service and further invest in its future. Mechinat Avner is named after Avner Getz (the son of Rav Meir Yehuda Getz z”l), who fell in battle in the Six-Day War and who represents the ultimate giving of his body and soul for his people and country.
Mission and Impact
Mechinat Avner tasks our students with a significant challenge – to spend a year and a half of their lives giving everything of themselves to help physically build, repair, and assist the diverse, economically and socially challenged population of central Akko. Working in close partnership with the city’s Welfare Ministry and through close personal relationships with the city’s residents, our students work daily to improve the lives of all of Akko’s residents.
The Mechina instills in its students a passion for learning Jewish values – and applying them to aid the vulnerable and lift up an entire city. The Mechina’s students achieve a deep level of understanding and pride in Jewish and Zionist history. This serves as a wellspring of knowledge and motivation to serve their people and the State of Israel in the IDF, and beyond throughout their lives. The Mechina’s graduates have dedicated themselves to serve at an incredible 100% rate in the IDF, with the overwhelmingly majority being selected to become commanders and officers.
Living Jewish Values
The Mechina tasks its students to not simply learn Jewish principles and values in a vacuum – but rather to apply the core principles of the Torah – helping the downtrodden, the sick, those who are forgotten and marginalized in society – on a daily basis.
The Mechina’s students breathe new life into once derelict buildings. They lead daily prayer services, prepare and bring food and medicine to the needy and elderly, assist single-parent families, prepare youth for their Bar Mitzvah studies, repair synagogues and apartment buildings, and lead by example, working day and night to help others and improve the city they live in. They learn Jewish values and apply the values of love of The Land and her people, every day.
Open Beit Midrash
Mechinat Avner Akko’s presence is strongly felt in the city. In addition to the projects described above, the Mechina runs an open Beit Midrash which is available for all residents to enjoy. In addition, in partnership with the local youth center and Derech Ami, Mechinat Avner Akko runs a Jewish studies program for young people in the region without a religious background. Program participants engage in 140 hours of learning annually and spend Shabatot with the Mechina’s students and teachers.
Akko, a once thriving and strategic port city is now a city suffering from severe economic and social distress. While Akko’s history is storied and rich, a port city of great strategic importance, from ancient times until today – the Jewish population of Akko has become a marginalized minority over the past 30 years. Today, only 2,000 out of 13,000 residents in Akko’s city center are Jewish.
The students of Mechinat Avner do not live on a separate campus, but instead live in small groups in apartments close to the Mechina, in Akko’s oldest neighborhoods. Here they are strategically located, to live, integrate and connect with the residents of Akko.
This year, the Mechina has 55 students, 10 of which are returning students for a second term at the Mechina. Since its founding, the Mechina has had tremendous success in making a positive, lasting impact in the community.
We would be glad to answer any questions you may have and grateful for the opportunity to submit a full proposal.
We invite you to connect with us and make a difference!
Western Galilee Akko
Make a difference
Where the future of the Galilee is decided, Rabbi Getz founded in 2014 a pre-I.D.F. academy and Beit Midrash. To raise a quality generation ready for the nation's missions. (About Avner Getz Press