The Israeli Mechina Nachshon


Who participates in the program?
Nachshon is an Israeli program, so the majority of the participants are Israeli high school graduates (male and female) who have deferred their army service for a year in order to participate in the program. The Israeli participants are from all over Israel and from different backgrounds, including both secular and religious. In addition to the Israeli participants, up to 20% of the Nachshon students are Jewish high-school graduates from outside of Israel who speak basic Hebrew. Some of them are children of Israeli parents living overseas who are looking to reconnect with Israel in an Israeli environment. The participants from overseas gain an authentic Israeli experience on the program, while also contributing to the diversity of the program.
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How many people participate in the program?
Nachshon is made up of 3 groups. There are typically 40-50 students in each group.
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Where is the program?
The program is located in 3 places:  the Yoav Fortress (Metzudat Yoav) near Kiryat Gat, Mevo'ot Ha'Negev educational community in Kibbutz Shoval near Beit-Kama and Sderot. Some of the program is spent on campus (IN weeks), while other weeks (OUT weeks) will be spent traveling throughout Israel.
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Will I get academic credit? What will I gain by participating in the program?

Nachshon is not an academic program, therefore you will not receive academic credit for participation. However, you will gain real life skills, develop leadership skills, learn about yourself, grow personally and gain friends for life. 

Nachshon participants from abroad come for different reasons. Whether the participant is taking a gap year before heading to college or trying to integrate into Israeli society before making aliyah, the Mechina is sensitive to the varied goals of each participant and makes an effort to accommodate the individuals accordingly.

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What if I don't speak Hebrew well?
Nachshon is conducted entirely in Hebrew. A certain background in Hebrew is necessary; However, willing participants will learn Hebrew rapidly at Nachshon. Those who are willing to immerse themselves in a Hebrew-speaking environment will find themselves speaking and understanding Hebrew in no time.
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What are the Nachshon living conditions?
Accommodations - the Nachshon accommodations are basic dormitories. 5-6 people stay in each room, and bathrooms and showers are located at the end of the hall. Dormitories are separate for male and female students. The rooms are equipped with bunk beds, closets and tables and chairs. Meals - You will be provided with three meals and two snacks a day during the entire program, except on free weekends and holidays. Laundry - There are facilities on site to do laundry.
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Why does the army allow Israelis to postpone their service to participate?
All Israeli Nachshon participants do full army service after the program (participants who are not Israeli citizens, or who left Israel before the age of 14, are not required to serve). The army allows them to defer their service since it has realized that Nachshon graduates will be able to make a more significant contribution to the army after the leadership development that they went through in Nachshon. Many of the Nachshon graduates go on to become officers, commanders and instructors, assuming leading roles in the IDF.
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