Israeli Defense Forces – Educational Corps.

As of 2009, the Posen Foundation supports educational activities in the IDF, in collaboration with “Bina” and “Shitim”.   Service in the IDF, which happens at a critical juncture in the lives of most Israelis, shapes Israeli society in profound ways, and it is because of this that the IDF Education Corps has been in charge of establishing educational activities in the area of Jewish identity. The goal of the education is to cultivate discourse that fosters inquiry into shared Israeli identity.   Educational activities of formal and experiential learning are offered mainly to the command level, because officers’ connection to secular Judaism can have a powerful impact on the soldiers under their command, both during their IDF service and for years afterward. This program is particularly significant since the official military rabbinate controls much of the Jewish-related activities in the military, and secular Jewish voices are seldom heard.   As an example, BINA’s Shabbat activities provide a unique opportunity to examine – individually and as a community – questions relating to personal and collective identity in the context of Jewish culture and Israeli society. BINA’s Shabbat programs in the IDF contend with educational challenges relating to identity formation through creating discourse on Judaism as a culture; tradition and renewal; ancient Jewish sources as well as contemporary Hebrew ones.

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