IDF to build 'Jewish heritage' campus in J'lem

Army to found new college-style campus on Ammunition Hill to offer courses for military commanders in Jewish heritage, tradition.

ammunition hill 88 (photo credit: )
ammunition hill 88
(photo credit: )
The IDF is in the final stages of receiving municipal permits to build a new college-style campus on Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem that will house a school offering mandatory courses for military commanders in Jewish heritage and tradition. The school will be home to the Education Corps's newly-established Mehzavim program, a Hebrew acronym for "Educational Military Leadership in Jerusalem." The project was launched just under a year ago and is held monthly - one week for lieutenant colonels, one week for majors and another week for junior commanders. Since its opening, close to 1,600 officers have been through the course, which is conducted in conjunction with the Jerusalem-based Hartman Institute. "The goal is to have the entire IDF command undergo the course, which enriches their Jewish identity and understanding of our set of values, morals and ethics," OC Education Corps Brig.-Gen. Eli Shermeister said. The state-of-the-art campus will be home to a number of classrooms and lecture halls. During the course, which takes place in Jerusalem, officers are taken on tours of the Old City and the historic neighborhoods of Yemin Moshe and Nahlaot. They hear lectures from Prof. David Hartman, Rabbi Eli Sadan of the Eli pre-military academy and Prof. Avi Sagi from Bar-Ilan University. Most of the classes are geared toward getting the officers to reflect on their own Jewish and Israeli identities and to work in smaller groups to reflect on personal military experiences and how their identities played a role in them. "We believe that soldiers will fulfill their missions more effectively after learning about their heritage and what they are fighting for," Shermeister said. "A soldier who understands these values will engage the enemy in a battlefield with greater motivation."