Mechina participants sitting in a circle on the grass Program

A place to become a leader.|

What is

Two mechina participants doing a demonstration for the mechina.

In partnership with Kol Ami, is a six-month MASA gap year program in Israel, located in Kibbutz Amir that aims to connect Israeli and Jewish international participants. Kibbutz Amir is located in Upper Galilee, by the Jordan River and in sight of the foothills of Mount Hermon. The program offers an authentic Israeli experience, including trips around the country, an identity formation journey, learning, volunteering and much more.

The program is designed to integrate international and Israeli participants into the Israeli culture and provide an opportunity to deepen their connection to the land of Israel and their Jewish/Zionist identities. As a result, a variety of perspectives regarding what it means to be a Jewish leader are presented and explored. The program is fully in English, and transitions towards more Hebrew content, depending on the participants' Hebrew level. This program provides a meaningful gap year experience, filled with volunteer work, traveling, learning about Israel and other world topics, and opportunity for self and group improvement.

Galil Elyon LogoKol Ami Logo

Program Details


6 months

Start Date

Aug 27, 2024

End Date

Feb 21, 2025


Kibbutz Amir, Israel



*$200 Masa Discount Available



*Half international participants



*With Hebrew lessons

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About Galil Elyon

Whole mechina taking a picture outdoors.

The Upper Galilee Leadership Academy (Mechinat Galil Elyon) was founded in 1998 with the spirit of democracy and pioneering and the mission of shaping identity and cultivating young leaders with values. Who are able to influence and are committed to the Jewish people and the Israeli society. The Academy enforces taking responsibility and leading while being caring and sensitive to one's surroundings for a better future.

Galil Elyon fosters a strong connection to Israeli, Jewish, and Zionist heritage. Our leaders search for the greater impact that they can have within the Israeli society.

The Mechina has 5 groups throughout the Galilee (including a six-month program for youth from all over the world). There are a total of 300 participants a year and 2,500 alumni.

Key Parts of the Program

Faced with endless opportunities to better yourself and others, the participant learns to value leadership. Through group problems, new experiences, and constant responsibility, the Mechina achieves this.
Learning new ideas and skills through the variety of trips, presenters, and seminars in the mechina, including lectures made by fellow participants.
Creating meaningful experiences by volunteering in different places inside the kibbutz and outside; learning kindness, how to help others and create a better future for people all around Israel.
To know the land itself, the rich history that it has experienced and to give back to the land that the Mechina calls home.
Through many aspects such as Judaism, Leadership, personal values, and day to day experiences, exploring your own identity is a natural process of the Mechina, but is also emphasized.
Forging a stable alliance with the kibbutz the Mechina is situated in, and to further share the experience of a kibbutz life, with all of it’s communal values and togetherness.

The Program


Tamar Gadi

The Mechina has taught me how to become independent and take action. This time allowed me to grow as a person and shape my opinions while discovering who I am as an adult.

Yhonatan Gilboa
Kfar Uria, Israel

My experience in the Mechina can be summed up into two words: Learning curve. In the Mechina you learn a lot about yourself, about how to improve as a human being, as a friend, how to work in and be a part of a group, and how to put things into proportions.

Ella Brutman
Sunnyvale, California has allowed me explore new roles in a group setting along with strengthening my leadership, communication, and organization skills while reconnecting my home land, Israel.

Omer Avital
Palo Alto, California

I have developed a lot as a person and a leader throughout the program. The leadership experiences and group life helped me gain confidence in myself and my abilities.

Our Partners