Identity and Purpose Programs
Strengthening the Commander as an Educator
IDF soldiers confront questions of identity, purpose, and ethics on a regular basis. The IDF Education Corps and Beit Morasha, a Jerusalem-based leadership training center that specializes in Jewish studies, have developed three courses for soldiers and commanders that focus on Jewish values and identity.
Since its founding in 2002, Identity and Purpose has reached over 150,000 commanders and soldiers.
Recreation and Education Retreats
These 3-day interactive retreats are specifically tailored for 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 and the Ethical Code of the IDF. Since the course is so important and effective in developing an ethical army, it has become a required part of training for all soldiers who interact with civilian populations.
- In 2012, over 5,400 soldiers participated in seminars, workshops, discussion groups and field trips through the FIDF’s Identity and Purpose educational program.
Traditional Shabbat Experience
By celebrating the Shabbat together, commanders and soldiers are able to form a better understanding of and connection to this Jewish tradition. They also learn and appreciate different forms of observance in Israel’s multicultural society. The weekend allows participants time for introspection and an 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 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.
Watch the Identity & Purpose Video
"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