Frequently asked questions
What is a Mechina?
Mechina comes from the Hebrew word "hachana" - preparation. It is an educational institution that values informal education combining learning, volunteering and other programming in an effort to prepare students for life.
Can I get University credits for classes taken at Ruach Hanegev?
Many universities and colleges provide credits in exchange for classes taken at our Mechina. However, all students should consult with their university in order to determine how many credits they will receive.
In addition, we have partnered with Ben-Gurion University in order to offer our students the opportunity to participate in classes on campus during their year in Israel. These classes are fully accredited and each student will receive the proper documentation and transfer papers after successfully completing the class.
Is there Ulpan (Hebrew lessons) offered?
Yes. We offer Hebrew lessons for Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced level speakers. Also, there is a set Ulpan class as part of the weekly schedule. In addition, we offer Hebrew enrichment classes based on demand.
What type of staff are on-campus?
In addition to the Director and some teachers living in the Retamim community, there are Madrichim (counselors) who dorm together with the students.
Are there scholarships available?
Yes. The Mechina Financial Director works closely with every student’s family and financial situation in an effort to ensure that every applicant can attend our program.
How often will I be able to be in Jerusalem to meet up with friends/family?
Our student's social life and connection to family are of great importance to us. In our scheduling, we have made a conscious effort to allow the students many opportunities to visit with their friends and family. On off-shabbatot, transportation is organized for our students to Jerusalem, in order to allow them to take full-advantage of the weekend. In addition, when the schedule allows, we provide transportation for students to Jerusalem on Tuesday nights, the traditional Yeshiva night off.
What kind of Jewish background does a student of Mechinat Ruach Hanegev need to have?
Ruach Hanegev is intentionally built in order to challenge and interest all students, irrespective of their Jewish background. We will be offering tracked classes in a wide-range of subjects in order to provide each student with the proper learning level.
What is Service Learning and why is it such a big part of the Mechina?
Service learning is defined by Vanderbilt University as:
“A form of experiential education where learning occurs through a cycle of action and reflection as students seek to achieve real objectives for the community and deeper understanding and skills for themselves”.
At the Mechina, we strongly believe in an educational process that includes formal source based study, action, and reflection. Our goal at the Mechina is to provide our students with the opportunity to complete this cycle in an effort to properly prepare students for life in university and beyond. By taking part and leading community projects, our students will have the opportunity to implement the lessons and values that they learned in the Beit Midrash on a daily basis.
What types of opportunities will be available as part of the Service Learning element?
We will have both group and individual projects throughout the year. As individuals, we will work with each and every student to find a project that they connect to. Examples of existing opportunities: Working with local farmers, volunteering in neighboring Kibbutzim, visiting with the elderly, tutoring younger students and many more!