Emunah, a leading Jewish religious social action organization that aims to advance the status of women, has thrown its support behind the mechina, providing both funding and public support. During the recent Emunah World Convention, the group paid a visit to the mechina to hear from the students and faculty and to lend moral support.
They listened carefully as Shani from Beit Shemesh described how the program had helped her succeed in being accepted to become an IDF medical instructor when she enlists in the summer. Pninit, a classmate from Nechusha, explained how the mechina course of study had strengthened her Torah outlook and “taught us how to live in a group for the first time we’re out of the house.”
Ronit Tal, one of the mechina instructors, told the visitors that a typical day includes morning prayers, sports, classes in social issues, Talmud, Mishnah, psychology, ethics, art and culture. During the year, students also take part in three or four field trips that focus on different aspects of Israeli society. “We take the study outside the Beit Midrash (study hall),” she said.
“Our mission here is to expose the girls to many opinions so they come to the IDF ready to stand up for their point of view,” added Tal.
Almog, a Mechinat Lapidot graduate who showed up in her IDF uniform to visit her teachers and friends, told the Emunah visitors, “At the mechina you get a good basis to meet the rest of the world. I know where I come from and where I’m going.”
World Emunah Chairperson Dina Hahn noted that her group would continue to support Mechinat Lapidot because “with more and more observant girls opting for IDF service, Emunah is committed to providing answers in religious society.”
At the end of the current academic year, Mechinat Lapidot will move into its new home, a short distance away in the neighboring small community of Mitzpe Danny. The 40 younger families who make up the village—which was founded in 1998 and named after Danny Frei, a Ma’ale Michmas resident killed in a terror attack—“believe in our goals and are looking for a project that will help the community expand,” said mechina founder Rikhlin.