Nowhere/Everywhere. On Mach Hach BaAretz you will explore the entire country. Generally groups stay in a hotel for 2-5 nights, then move on to another region of the country.
Jewish 10th grade graduates from across the United States and Canada. The program is geared toward students from Orthodox backgrounds. Mach Hach is sponsored by Bnei Akiva of the U.S. and Canada, which is a religious Zionist youth movement.
There are approximately 35–40 kids in a group. Groups are divided based on your requests. You will share this unforgettable experience and form life-long bonds with old friends and new.
There are several times during the summer when all buses will be together. They include opening night ceremonies, Shabbat Mach Hach, “The Amazing Race” and final banquet. If you are in the “Adventure” program, you will spend Adventrure Week with kids from other buses who choose the same track as you. In addition, Israel is a small country so keep your eyes open because you never know when you will run into them…
Yes to all! Every minute of the itinerary is very well thought out so that not a moment is wasted. You will visit many sites that have great Biblical, historical and modern-day significance. You will hike mountains, deserts and wadis and learn to love Israel’s natural resources. You will do volunteer work that will allow you to contribute to, and bond with, the land and its people. For more details see the sample itinerary in the “Program Options” section.
There is a formal shiur (learning session) each day. But to us, everything we do is an opportunity for Torah learning. We often tour with a Tanach in hand, allowing for a type of learning that can not be achieved in any classroom or beit-midrash. In addition, our Hesder program offers ten days of intensive learning in a yeshiva or seminary (see the “Program Options” section for details).
There is one free weekend. If you want to spend more time with family and friends in Israel, you can arrange to arrive in Israel before Mach Hach starts, or you can stay after.
Yes! Each bus has a staff of six full-time madrichim (counselors), which is a larger-than-average amount for this type of program. There is also a senior-staff that floats between the buses, and is in touch with the staff 24/7. Even “free time” is supervised — no camper is ever permitted to go off on his/her own.
Mach Hach BaAretz is staffed by senior madrichim and madrichiot who have proven their leadership capabilities in previous positions in Bnei Akiva and Camp Moshava. They serve not only as counselors, but also as role models and educators. Each bus is staffed by a combination of Americans and Israelis.
Most of the time. Because we are a traveling camp, we do not have our own kitchens. Meals are eaten in hotels and restaurants, or provided by caterers. Therefore, we do not have total control over ingredients. If you have food allergies or other special needs, you must speak with the Mach Hach administration before your application is considered final.
Yes and Yes! Seeing Israel with a group of friends is very different than seeing it with your family. On Mach Hach, all of the activities are geared toward teens. And being that Bnei Akiva is THE organization that is all about Israel, we honestly believe that nobody can show you the country with the same excitement and passion that we can!