Make a Difference

Help Our Youth Shine

Derech Eretz provides the lower strata of Israeli society with upward social mobility through programs which develop individual responsibility at significant life junctures.

Strengthening Israeli Society

Derech Eretz’s programs serve communities which lack social and financial resources available in more established areas.

Your support helps enhance social responsibility, foster integration among diverse backgrounds, deepen students’ understanding of Israeli society and Jewish heritage, and instill a love of Eretz Yisrael.

Derech Eretz Programs

Programs include a six-month pre-army Mechina which provides guidance for admission to elite and combat army units, ongoing support for active duty soldiers, mentors for army graduates transitioning to civilian life and planning their careers, and an ongoing alumni network.

Alumni Stories, News, and Events

Commanding Officer Alon Weiss

“At the mechina, I acquired social skills. A lot of social skills – learning to be sensitive towards others and to understand people who are different than me. I grew up in an environment where everyone around me were overall similar to me in terms of their background and in terms of their world views. I learned how to be a friend to people who are different than me… As a soldier, and, today, as a commanding officer, it is important to know how to interact and get along with people who are different from you. After all, you are first and foremost dealing with people.”

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Commanding Officer Alon Weiss

ALON

Derech Eretz Alumni Alon Weiss

Proud IDF Combat Soldier Sintayehu Genet

“I was born and raised in an Ethiopian village. In July of 2011, I came to Israel with my family... I studied at a boarding school in Hedera for 4 years until I finished high school… At Derech Eretz, I loved going on outdoor hikes and familiarizing myself with the people and places that comprise Israel. Subsequently, I feel more connected to Israel than ever before and really feel part of it… Today, I am proud to be a combat soldier in the IDF, in the Golani (Infantry) Brigade. Derech Eretz helped me reach this unit. I came prepared, and was taught what to expect and so many aspects I had no way of knowing before.”

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Proud IDF Combat Soldier Sintayehu Genet

Derech Eretz Alumni: Sintayehu Genet

Keren-Or Dino: Speaking Up for Herself and for Others

“Before Derech Eretz I was very shy and had a hard time articulating myself in front of others. With the support of the staff and my new friends from the program, Derech Eretz gave me the tools to build up my confidence and learn to speak out."

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Keren-Or Dino: Speaking Up for Herself and for Others

Derech Eretz Alumni Keren-Or

From Philadelphia to Kmehin to Dog Handling in the IAF: Derech Eretz Graduate Ilana Hirsch

“Growing up in Philadelphia, I had always wanted to come to Israel. At Derech Eretz, I fulfilled my goal of learning Hebrew. By the end of the pre-military program, I was speaking, yelling, laughing, singing, and texting in the one language I’d never been allowed to study as a kid. Beyond the immersion in Hebrew and with Israelis, I learned to think on my feet, the tiyulim were incredible, and the mechina even had us running 10k by the end which really showed me what I am capable of. By the time the mechina ended, I was ready to be a contributing member of society and join the army.”

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From Philadelphia to Kmehin to Dog Handling in the IAF: Derech Eretz Graduate Ilana Hirsch

Derech Eretz Kmehin Graduate Ilana Hirsch

Derech Eretz Community Annual Event

On Thursday, December 13th, we held an overnight event in Nitzana for all program participants, alumni, and staff. The interaction between current and past program participants was incredible, and there was a sense of a larger Derech Eretz community coming together. We hope this will mark the first event of a future annual tradition.

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Derech Eretz Community Annual Event

Derech Eretz Community Event

Focus on Alumni

From alumni programs to an alumni council and an alumni network, Derech Eretz is continuing to cultivate our youth well into adulthood.

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Focus on Alumni

Focus on Alumni