Israel: Russian speakers receive pre-army preparation

Pre-army preparation programmes have existed in Israel for decades gut, for the first time, Mechinat Harel courses given in Jerusalem will help Russian-speaking Israelis to get ready for national service, Jenni Frazer reports in Jewish News..

Israel Russian speakers receive pre army preparation
The Pre-Army Program is the ultimate pre-army preparatory program for lone soldiers drafting to the IDF (Picture source: Onward Israel)

School students all over the country take courses before entering the army. The aim of the programmes (called Mechina Kdam-Tzvait in Hebrew) is to thoroughly prepare recruits for their service. The recruits take tours, meet key public figures, explore Israel’s nature and learn about serving in various units within the armed forces. The participants receive physical and educational training, meet IDF officers and prepare for service in elite units. The programme also includes 12 days of volunteer work with children, the elderly and people with special needs.

Now, Mechinat Harel courses, in a project supported by the Genesis Philanthropy Group, are the first to be designed specifically for Russian speakers. Forty participants have already signed up, and this number is expected to grow in the future. The recruits also study the history of Soviet Jews, the refusenik movement, the Holocaust in the USSR and the Jews who fought in the Soviet army during World War II.

Ishai Hadad, director and founder of the courses and a captain in the IDF reserves, says that when young people learn about the pivotal role Soviet Jews played in the history of the Jewish people, they find it much easier to integrate into Israeli society and to feel like full-fledged citizens.