Orot Israel College was founded in 1978 by Rabbi Dr. Yehuda Felix . The Bat Zion program that was established in 1979, was part of Rabbi Felix's dream to provide young women from abroad (post high school) with a full year of Torah learning and spiritual growth along with the opportunity for real integration with Israeli contemporaries.
Rabbi Felix believed that the Bat Zion program was unique, unlike any other foreign studies program that then existed, in being able to share the vision of religious Zionism from the heartland of Israel. Bat Zion's goal was to inculcate student's with the philosophy of Rav Kook, that Torat Yisrael, Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael constitute an inseparable unit.
In addition the program was aimed at:
- Helping the students to deepen and broaden their Torah knowledge
- To acquire the basic tools needed for independent study in the future.
- To expand Jewish identity and elevate the level of personal midot
- To attain a high level of proficiency in Hebrew
During their year in Israel, Bat Zion students had an opportunity to learn about the land of Israel with a "Tanach in hand", meet the people of Israel and fall in love with our special and exciting country. Unlike most other one year programs at that time, the Bat Zion program was located in Elkana and not in Jerusalem.
Throughout the years Orot Israel College became the home to approximately 1000 Bogrot from Canada, USA, Europe ,in addition to young women from South Africa and Australia , who came through Bnei Akiva as part of their MTA program (Midreshet Torah Va' Avodah).
The program thrived for some thirty years, through to 2008. Although the Bat Zion program no longer exists, we at Orot, are in close touch with our Bogrot and value our mutual ongoing friendships. Orot is proud of their dedication to Am Yisrael & Torat Yisrael, both in Israel and in the Diaspora.