Young Leadership Program
Developing Our Future Leaders
>>A 14-month volunteer work-study program to that develops our young men and women into Zionists and leaders.
14 month hands-on educational program | 8 locations across the Negev and Galilee | 18-19 year-old participants | 110 participants annually| 260 alumnae in our graduate program
Young Leadership is a flagship program offering a unique and profoundly meaningful experience for high school graduates who elect to defer their military service for one-year of volunteer service. Participants spend 14 intense months working and protecting the open fields of farms and ranches in the Negev and the Galilee, studying the history and roots of the State and region while living together on the land. The experience is life changing: participants leave the program instilled with the values and standards of leaders and Zionists. Candidates go through a rigorous and competitive selection process by which only 10% of candidates are selected for the limited slots available. They live in mobile caravan units and reflect the diverse nature of Israeli society, the group-living dynamic providing a valuable opportunity to bond with fellow Israelis irrespective of faith or politics. Situated in the open fields, the caravan units create a constant presence on the land, inherently deterring marauders and reducing theft and vandalism. Participants begin their days before sunrise, working the fields and tending to livestock until the heat of the afternoon sun; they spend their afternoons studying the history of Zionism and the Middle East, Jewish philosophy and Arabic, as well as pre-Army and survival skills; each night, they rotate guard duty, protecting the land from infiltrators. Young Leaders serve as first responders to farmers in urgent need of help, from the immediate repair of a damaged fence to an outbreak of fires or a sudden increase in theft. Young Leaders also partake in many local activities, getting involved, giving back and reenergizing their new communities with the vitality of their young spirits. "I was exposed to women from different backgrounds with different opinions from mine that I probably would not have met otherwise. I learned to love the country from personal experiences, not just stories. There is no doubt the biggest challenge this year was getting to know myself and my role in bringing about change. I couldn't have made a better choice than participating in this program: the change in routine and intensity makes you stronger, more mature – every day I discovered I was able to reach new limits I never thought possible. This year has certainly broadened my mind." – Ella Fredo, Tel Aviv, Young Leader Class of 2014 The Young Leadership program has imparted upon its 260 alumnae many of life's central tenets: respect for one another, the value of hard work, love of land, and the individual's role and responsibility in society. The best illustration of the impact of this program is seen by the sheer number of graduates who, after becoming Young Leaders, are recruited to serve in elite units of the IDF, many reaching the ranking of officer, others joining HaShomer partnership with The Nachal unit, a select IDF unit created together with HaShomerHaChadash