Identity and Purpose Programs
Building a Connection to Jewish Values
IDF soldiers confront questions of identity, purpose, and ethics on a regular basis. The IDF Education Corps in conjunction with Beit Morasha, a Jerusalem-based leadership training center that specializes in Jewish studies, have developed three courses for soldiers and commanders that focus on developing Jewish values and identity among IDF soldiers.
Since 2009, the FIDF Identity and Purpose Program has enabled over 61,000 soldiers and commanders to receive a unique educational experience.
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Identity & Purpose Brochure
Recreation and Education Retreats
These 3-day interactive retreats are specifically tailored for soldiers in combat battalions and focus on issues of ethics, social tensions, and moral questions that arise during complex warfare situations. Soldiers discuss the ethical dilemmas that come up in the field in conjunction with the Ethical Code of the IDF. Due to the course’s importance and effectiveness in developing an ethical army, it has become a required part of training for all soldiers who interact with civilian populations.
Traditional Shabbat Experience
By celebrating Shabbat together, commanders and soldiers are able to form better understandings of their connection to this Jewish tradition. They also learn about and appreciate different forms of observance in Israel’s multicultural society. The weekend provides participants time for introspection as well as the opportunity to explore Jewish and Israeli identity, promote tolerance within the military unit, and emphasize the connection between soldiers, Jewish tradition, and Israeli society.
- Cost: $150 enables one soldier to participate in the weekend program.
Educational Seminars for Senior Officers
These 2-3 day seminars introduce senior officers to content, tools, and techniques that enable them to confront educational challenges in their units. The seminars touch upon a range of themes, including: Morality Under Fire, Ethics and the IDF Military System, and Israel’s Democratic Values and Institutions.
- Cost: $250 per officer per seminar.
"Maintaining strong defense forces requires not only professional military skills but demands a strong spirit as well. The educational activities in the IDF are based on the Ethical Code of the IDF and on the ‘Identity and Purpose’ concept, and were created to strengthen the Jewish-Israeli identity and the moral values of commanders and soldiers in the IDF, in a way that will affect the entire Israeli society"
- Brig. Gen. Eli Shermeister, IDF Chief Education Officer