Mechinat Otzem

The quiet and serenity of Cholot Chalutza make it a perfect environment in which our students can build strong and healthy spiritual foundations in preparation for the tasks of contributing productively to Israeli society in general and serving proudly and successfully in the IDF in particular.

The pre-army yeshiva is designed for idealistic, religious young men who aspire to deepen their Torah knowledge, strengthen their spiritual convictions, and take responsibility for all aspects of their lives both during and after their military service. The Otzem Yeshiva has been active for twenty years; it is constantly developing and rising to meet new challenges. This year, the Yeshiva is serving more than 300 students (about 160 in the first-year program and 140 in the second-year and graduate programs). Students in the Yeshiva represent a broad geographical spectrum of Israeli Religious Zionism, hailing from the Golan Heights in the north to Eilat in the south. We seek to create a mixture of students from different communal backgrounds including development towns, urban centers, kibbutzim and moshavim, and the settlements of Judea and Samaria. The Yeshiva’s continued contact with its graduates during and after their military service constitutes an important element in our educational success. The “Torah of the Yeshiva” becomes more and more of a “Torah for Life” for its graduates.

Recently, Mechinat Otzem has been working on building a Lone Soldiers home in Beit Daniel. Beit Daniel is located in Moshav Naveh – next to Mechinat Otzem – where the boys spend a year of learning and personal growth before being drafted into the army. It is in this way a natural continuation in the process of their becoming fully integrated members of Israeli society. There are hundreds of lone soldiers who return to empty apartments after long, hard weeks in the army. Exhausted and alone, these soldiers have to shop, cook, clean, and do laundry before they can sit down, relax, and rest. The Lone Soldiers Home will offer an alternative housing option, where the soldiers will have a clean place to live, stocked with food, hot meals, and people who care about them. The location will be their “home away from home” – which will offer physical, emotional, and familial support. Beit Daniel will be a house for approximately 12 soldiers, complete from “A to Z” with furniture, appliances, air conditioning, linens, kitchenware, food, transportation, and of course, a close connection with the Mechina, the community around it, and anything else that the soldiers might need or want. Each of the soldiers has an adoptive family to help surround him with a warm, caring environment.