The Upper Galilee Leadership Academy, TUGLA, was established in 1998, initially in Kibbutz Ma'ayan Baruch, a settlement located on the border fence of the State of Israel with Lebanon, according to the vision of the Upper Galilee Regional Council, with the aim of growing connected and committed citizens who see themselves as a significant part of society and who have the ability to influence its design. Every year, we direct our graduates to take on national tasks and challenges in the fields of security, society, education and more.
The need to establish such programs is evident following the social crisis in Israel, which occurred after the assassination of our Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the late. The creators of the program saw before their eyes the building of a young, worthy, and valuable future leadership from the Israeli society and the Jewish people, who would lead our country to become a better state.
You are invited to watch a video describing the establishment of the program, featuring Aharon Valancy, the former head of the Upper Galilee Regional Council and Yossi Baruch, the founder and head for the first 22 years of the Mechina:
We started our journey in 1998 with 21 participants. During the years since then, we have established 3 annual Mechina programs throughout the Galilee, in Kibbutz Kfar Hanasi, Baram, and Amir, and an additional six-month mixed leadership program for international and Israeli participants, which operates also in Kibbutz Amir. Today, these programs have a total of 300 participants.
All our groups are mixed and heterogeneous, they are made up of excellent high school graduates from all over the country, including those with special needs, along with 50 international participants, who join the program from the Jewish communities living abroad.
This is a highly sought-after unique educational framework that invites the youth, who have completed 12th grade, a rare opportunity to take a one-year "time-out" from the crazy race of life, with the aim of consolidating their personality, enhancing their abilities to be significant people to their environment, and general self-improvement.
At the same time and in addition to the unique one-year educational project of the "Year-long Mechina," we continuously work to maintain the connection and communication with our 2,500 graduates, both throughout their military service and in their lives beyond, while involving them in every matter and thing.
TUGLA operates according to an annual and multi-year plan and is always developing, growing, and building new challenges, both in the physical sense of building a permanent campus and establishing the network of activities that exist in the various contexts, the emergence of new frameworks, including the establishment of a relevant and supportive alumni organization.
An organization that affects the environment, volunteers, and constantly works to improve society.
TUGLA has a board of directors headed by Mr. Uzi Yamin, the father of one of our Alumni, and its members are Ms. Zohara Dagan and Ms. Anat Levy - senior managers in the Upper Galilee Regional Council.
The association has a general assembly consisting of the head of the Upper Galilee Regional Council Mr. Giora Zaltz, members of the regional council, representatives of the host kibbutzim, educators and graduates of the preparatory school.
We work according to a comprehensive annual and multi-year plan and according to defined goals aimed at the continuous improvement of the educational program and our relevance to the Galilee environment and impact on Israeli society.