Every year I am blessed with the opportunity to visit Israel during the High Holidays. To be able to visit the Holy Land, a country where our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, stood, where King David and King Solomon ruled and built the Temple, and a place that we as a Jewish people have claimed as our birthright for more than 3,000 years is something words cannot describe.
Two years ago, I had some time off between companies and decided to spend my extended break in Israel. As someone who has been to Israel more than 50 times I thought I knew every corner, nook and cranny the country has to offer. I have covered every location on past trips, spanning from the northern tip of the Hermon, between Lebanon and Syria, to the waterfalls of the Golan, the beaches of Herzliya, the holy sites of Jerusalem, the deserts of Beersheba and the southern tip of Eilat.
Little did I know that right on the outskirts of Efrat, located in Judea and Samaria, there is a hidden gem called Caliber 3 Self-Defense Training School. Caliber 3 was originally established in 2003 by Col. (Res.) Sharon Gat and has since become the leading counterterror academy in Israel. Today, Caliber 3, run by dedicated military members of the IDF, provides top security solutions, high threat protection, intelligence operations and tactical training to military, law enforcement, government agencies and commercial clients from around the globe. In addition, they have a summer program that trains our youth and leaders of tomorrow.
From the very beginning of your experience at Caliber 3, the dedicated staff go through every method, strategic maneuver and self-defense strategy essential to one’s survival should they ever be in a terrorist or battle scenario, God forbid. The instructors are able to recreate firsthand scenarios and execute with perfection both the immediate responses and most effective defensive tactics by hand, knife or gun should one ever have to make a split-second decision in the most intense of circumstances. They end the class by providing each participant, hailing from all over the world, with a certificate of completion that includes a picture of Hagai Lev, an Israeli soldier killed in action one week after his visit to Auschwitz.
In a country the size of New Jersey, in which we are surrounded by enemies on all sides – Hezbollah and ISIS in the north, Hamas in every corner, just to name a few – I cannot stress enough the importance of taking your family to this essential and effective program the next time you are in Israel. With the uptick of antisemitism spreading across the world and in America, with attacks on synagogues and Jewish institutions, Caliber 3 has extended their footprint now to offer self-defense programs in the United States, as well. These words come from the heart and are in blessed memory of Bertin Tita, my grandmother who was murdered in a bus bombing by a Palestinian terrorist 13 years ago. My grandfather survived her by 14 years and passed away peacefully last year in Jerusalem. May God bless their memory and all of the other Jewish martyrs who were killed before their time because of their religion. With God’s help, may we only know of good news both now and for years to come.
The writer received his undergraduate degree in Business cum laude from Yeshiva University and his MBA with double distinction from Long Island University. He is a financial advisor who resides in NYC and is involved in Israel-based and Jewish-advocacy organizations