About UsOr Me’Ophir –A preparatory program to foster young leadership among Ethiopian youth.
The program was founded in 1995 and functions in conjunction with the Or Etzion Hesder Yeshiva , located in Merkaz Shapira, with the venerable Rabbi Chaim Druckman as its spiritual leader. The Or Me’Ophir students learn alongside, and serve in the IDF with the other Or Etzion students. There are currently about 90 students enrolled in the program, not including the Ethiopian students learning Torah in the kollel track at Yeshivat Or Etzion.
- Preparing students for meaningful service in the army
- Fostering social and spiritual growth
- Training young future leaders of their community in order to assist in the absorption and integration of Ethiopian immigrants in Israel
- Developing a sense of responsibility
- Special classes to assist students with completing their high school diploma or improving their matriculation results
- Trips all over Israel to help familiarize them with their homeland
- Involving students in social action initiatives
- Lectures and workshops
- Dental care
- Driver Education
- Tuition scholarships
- Scholarships for child care
- Grants for living expenses
Or Me’Ophir functions within a yeshiva framework, and accordingly, the study of Torah is the main topic focus for our students, each according to his individual skills and abilities.
First year -Torah study and preparation for the army as well as improving matriculation scores for those interested in doing so.
Second year – Torah study, preparation for the army, improving matriculation scores and familiarization with Israel’s history and geography.
Third year – Students serve in the army (usually in elite units) with the personal support of Yeshiva staff (visits, calls to their superior officers, etc).
Fourth year –Torah study and preparation for civilian life, for example, starting a family, choosing a profession, learning how to budget etc.
100% of students who are physically able, enlist in the army.
Approximately 80% of those with a high enough profile, enlist in combat units.
In the last four years, 9 students have enlisted in elite and combat units.
What Our Graduates Say…
The Mechina has very much served its purpose as a preparation; it has prepared me not only for my studies, but for life. Or MeOphir was, and continues to be a unique place for our young people. We received tools and studied both holy and secular subjects. There is a sense of being part of a family. I am still in touch with some of the people I met there – I am grateful to every member of the staff at OrMeOphir.
Reservist Rabbi Captain Ezra Biro
The journey to the summit begins with preparation – in order to begin to build great things, one must begin with the small building blocks of a strong foundation to serve as a base for the larger things to come. In the Mechina, students undergo preparation for the army, preparation for family life, and preparation for a spiritual life. They acquire tools which will serve them all their lives in dealing with life and the world.
Reservist Rabbi Captain Uriel Elazar
As a graduate myself, I see Or Etzion’s initiative to create a preparatory program for Ethiopian youth, as something quite extraordinary. This program was one of the first to open its doors to the youth of our community, giving them the opportunity to learn, and be strengthened and to prepare themselves for the army. Or Me’Ophir has tens of graduates who are truly role models of whom we can be very proud. I would like to thank the Yeshiva and Rav Druckman for their endless giving and support. They are extremely valued and appreciated.
Rabbi Adiv Yedidyah
The Or Me’Ophir preparatory program is family; a place where one can grow and strive towards higher purposes.
Rav Yaacov Taleh
Or Me’Ophir Preparatory Program, P.O. Box 99, Merkaz Shapira 79411
Phone: 08-850-2497, Fax: 08-860-9314, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Directions: Bus #301 from the Tel Aviv central bus station to Merkaz Shapira | Bus #437 from the Jerusalem bus station to Merkaz Shapira | Israel Railways – Get off at Tachanat Silver/Ashkelon