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(Aryeh Azulai, Machzor 10, 1952, taken from the reunion book of "Machzor 10”)

The History of the Machon

The Machon LeMadrichei Chul was established in 1946 by the Youth and Pioneer department of the Jewish Agency. The first thirty graduates of the Machon arrived in Israel mostly from South Africa. The students were housed in the agricultural school “Ayyanot” where they laid the foundations for the curriculum of the Machon. The curriculum included: Hebrew language, Bible and Agadah, History of Zionism, Israeli geography, sociology of the Jewish people and many other things.

The students were divided into classes based on their knowledge of Hebrew. The program also included activities, such as choir singing, dancing, painting, and party planning.


The Choir of Machzor 10 , 1952

Once every two weeks the students went hiking in a part of Israel with their much admired guide, the late Professor Ze’ev Vilnai. These tours could last several days to a week, and the students visited important historical sites and new Kibbutzim.
After six months of intensive study, the students were divided into groups based on their youth movements, and began a training period of five months in different kibbutzim. During this time they learned about the Kibbutz movement and about their political affiliation. They also worked in the various Kibbutz industries. At the end of the Kibbutz training period the students met up again for a seminar that would conclude the Machon experience. In this seminar the student gained skills that would help them be leaders in their movements in their countries of origin. The training of the first class of the Machon ended with the outbreak of the War of Independence at the end of 1947.

After the establishment of the State of Israel, and in light of the success of the first class, the World Zionist Organization decided to establish a school that would train young leadership from Jewish communities from around the world – the Machon for Madrichei Chul.

Despite the many challenges than facing the World Zionist Organization, the Machon had three 'machzorim' that worked in a partial schedule during the War of Independence and the first year of the State. The students of these classes witnessed the events surrounding the establishment of the State, and went through the difficulties of the siege on Jerusalem.

The excitement that the established of the State created in the Jewish world was felt in the registration of youth from all over the world and all the youth movements to the Machon. A hundred and twenty students signed up for the next class of the Machon, that began its training in June 1949.


Students of Machzor 54 , 1974

The residences of the Machon were established in two large Arab styled buildings, the classes and dining room being in a building that was, prior to the War of Independence, the former Claridges hotel.. The curriculum remained very much the same but the influence of the Zionist youth movements was much more evident, and activities in the absorption centers and contact with Israeli youth were added.

Those first years of the Institute for Youth Leaders from Abroad were witness and even part and parcel of the course of Jewish and Zionist history. With the establishment of the State of Israel and the arrival of thousands of new immigrants and their settlement from all over the world the students felt so much involved in the events of the young state that they chose to establish their own home in Israel and by so doing bind their fate with the Israeli society.

For the next twenty years the Machon was an integral part of the Zionist youth movement program and tens of 'hanichim' were sent every year to be trained as youth leaders.

There were two 'classes' every year, one for the "Northerners" from Europe, North Africa and North America (USA and Canada) taught in English, French and Hebrew. The "Southerners" from Latin America, South Africa and Australia where the language of tuition was in Spanish, English and Hebrew.

In 1972 the Machon moved to its new premises at Kiriyat Moriah in Jerusalem where it functions until today.

Following the break-up of the Soviet Union students started to come from Eastern Euriope and with it the problem of added languages to the program.

In 1999 a new element was added to the Machon training, meant to increase its involvement in community service. New classes were added about the Jewish community, its organizations, and their relationship with Israeli society.



Students of Machzor 106 working with Israeli youth,

Eshkol Region 2001

 Since 2000, the Machon participants have been active in various types of community service, such as work with groups of Ethiopian immigrants, and different projects of immigrant absorption within their youth movements. They also gain experience in leadership skills and community activities.

Since the establishment of the Machon, more than 12,000 students have graduated. Many of these graduates returned to their communities and became active in their youth organizations and in Jewish education generally and and then many returned to live in Israel.. Today many Bogrim take a prominent part in Jewish life in Israel and throughout the world..

The Machon is proud of its many graduates who are spread out all over the Jewish world, and it wishes them continued success and contribution to the Jewish people.


Machzor 102 , 1998

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