Alan J. Simanowitz
Alan J. Simanowitz

How’s this Gap-Year program different from others?

Discover a new way of learning! 

Is your son feeling overwhelmed about the future? Does he worry a gap year program may not be a good idea? Perhaps your son struggles with high school and doesn’t want more of the same. You son needs an alternative!

Now, take a deep breath and begin to plan. Spending a gap year is recommended by educational consultants and universities around the world. It allows a student time to breathe, reflect, develop new skills, and mature before beginning his life. A gap year in Israel provides the student with the extra benefit of immersing himself in the land, culture, and Torat Eretz Yisrael.  But there are so many places to choose from!  Your son is not like everyone else!  He is an individual who needs something unique! He needs to find his own path!  He needs to grow and develop! He needs to self-actualize!  He needs Mechinat Kadima!   

King Solomon wrote in Kohelet “Everything has its time”   At Mechinat Kadima, we believe this is the time for your youngster to bloom. It is his time to explore, to grow as an individual, to focus on his strengths and to begin his journey in life.     

For many teenagers, this is the first time they are experiencing freedom. This may also be the first time they are far from home. This newly-found independence is often wrought with challenges. Many young men are ready to confront the trials that lay in front of them; Others who have experienced difficulties in learning and social situations in the past find that a new address is not a remedy. For some, these struggles may be even more enhanced in a new environment.  

Mechinat Kadima builds: 

  • Self-reliance
  • Resilience
  • Independence 
  • Accountability and responsibility 
  • The individual to be a part of a collective 
  • Identity 
  • Connectivity 

Located in the Judean mountains, Mechinat Kadima is located in the heart of Eretz Yisrael.  As such, we offer courses on the History of Israel with particular emphasis on combining tiyulim (educational hikes) with textual study. Our students form a new relationship with their Jewish identity after being given the opportunity to revisit their tradition in a uniquely meaningful and relevant environment.

At Mechinat Kadima, our group of professionals provides your teen with the cognitive and compensatory strategies he will require to cope, thrive, and succeed in his new environment. The professionals at Kadima will help prepare your teen for their transition into their next stage in life. Seminars are offered throughout the year in the following academic areas:

  • Writing
  • Personal Finance and budgeting 
  • Career Exploration
  • Bagriot Completion
  • GED Preparation
  • SAT/ACT preparation
  • Psychometric Preparation
  • Hebrew Ulpan 
  • Critical thinking 

Jewish Studies: 

  • Contemporary Halacha 
  • Jewish History 
  • Modern Israel History 
  • Israeli Politics 
  • Tanach
  • Modern Jewish Thought and Philosophy 
  • Comparative Religion 
  • Jewish Leadership 

As well as the basic life skills that everyone needs, the professionals at Mechinat Kadima will help your son identify his talents and find how they can best be put to productive use. We will help him to identify career options that will motivate him to make progress. At the same time, we focus on instilling the ‘soft work skills’ such as punctuality, accountability, and responsibility that will serve him well in whatever he turns his hand to. Opportunities for career-building include:

  • Work experience in suitable placements
  • Vocational training and apprenticeships matched to your son’s skills and interests

Having strong Hebrew skills is important for smooth integration into Israeli Society and building a strong Jewish Identity. Classes at Kadima are conducted in English but living in an Israeli Community and working with Israelis will build a strong Hebrew vocabulary. Students also participate Hebrew Ulpan classes.

Many of Kadima’s professional staff are also Veterans of the IDF and assist the students with the Aliya and absorption process and taking the next step in life where ever it will lead.  

The young men live in furnished fully equipped apartments in a religious Yishuv. Students are also paired with adoptive families within the community who provide support and care while your child is away from home.  

Students participate in physical training 2-3 times a week which consists of rigorous physical and mental exercises that are designed to improve endurance and stamina, as well as running, swimming and krav maga.

In addition, tutoring services, psychological counseling, and psychiatric consulting are among the many services available to your teen while he spends this year away from his home.

We strive to present Jewish Education as a Living Torah, providing meaning and individual purpose to each of our students. Living and learning Jewish values and connection to the community is an optimal way of helping your young man achieve his full potential.

I welcome you to call or fill out our contact form for additional information and to schedule an intake. +972546769802

About the Author
Alan Simanowitz, MS, LDTC is the owner and director of UCanachieve Learning Alternatives. He combines over thirty years of special education experience with a philosophy that is based on teaching the whole child.Alan’s child centered philosophy leads him to develop very close relationships with every young man at Ucanachieve. Through a caring and sensitive style of interacting, Alan helps each student realize that success is an attainable goal. He is presently completing his Doctoral work in Educational Leadership and Management.
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