The Women’s Amutot Initiative of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation has awarded Yemin Orde’s IsraElite Young Women’s Leadership Program (mechina in Hebrew) a $7,000 grant to support its increased enrollment as well as leadership programs and other activities to educate and empower women from the margins of Israeli society.

Today, IsraElite has 35 participants and is the only such program that is specifically designed for young women who are immigrants or children of immigrants, mainly from Ethiopia or the former Soviet Union. The intensive 10-month program brings women from around Israel to the northern development town of Migdal Haemek, where they live, learn, and volunteer together. IsraElite is the only mechina that provides an educational program uniquely specified to this population, and unlike other programs, does not charge tuition.

The mechina provides its participants with important skills to overcome cultural and societal obstacles. The women develop self-confidence, leadership skills and a strong determination to succeed.

Israeli young women from immigrant backgrounds, particularly Ethiopian Israelis, continue to face social, educational, and economic gaps that set them behind their peers. Mandatory military service provides an opportunity for closing these gaps, yet most women from these backgrounds are not aware or prepared for this opportunity.

IsraElite participants attend weekly sessions on topics such as time management, interpersonal relationships, public speaking, self-image, personal finances, and conflict management; they are engaged in physical training together with mindfulness exercises, with a focus on mental as well as physical well-being.

The program also enhances their feeling of belonging to Israeli society and the Jewish people. To this end, participants study Jewish heritage, Jewish texts, and Israeli history, and explore their personal identity within the Judaism and Israeli society. The group travels around the country on field trips, celebrates Jewish and Israeli holidays together and share from their own cultural heritages.

Click here to read more about IsraElite and how it  is empowering fragile young women to achieve independence and success as productive citizens of Israel.


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