Eli Luskin, now twenty-four, was born in Sydney, Australia, and subsequently moved to Ma’aleh Michmas and then Efrat. He currently resides in Jerusalem. Eli is a member of the first graduating class of the Bnei Zion Mechina (Pre-Military Leadership Academy) in Tel Aviv, which he and his friend Shaul Netzer chose to attend after meeting Yuval Kahan, the head of the mechina, at a lecture in the Conservative High School of Jerusalem.
Eli says that he decided to register for the mechina because he connected with Yuval’s characterization of leadership, personal responsibility, and social engagement, all topics that were to be central to Eli’s mechina studies.
During his year at mechina, Eli formed a solid concept of leadership and social engagement. For him, leadership is a philosophy that sees all events in the world through the prism of personal responsibility for one’s environment and the actors within it. In the reality of the leader, this perspective meshes with the belief that he can produce change for the better, as well as the actual ability and knowledge required to produce change. Personal responsibility, ability, talents, and faith in one’s abilities then are expressed through action. Leaders whose actions are informed by this outlook must also constantly work to stimulate those around them by sharing the tools they need. Social engagement, meanwhile, is defined based on a continuum that runs from environmental awareness, through participation and cooperation, to work in behalf of the community and environment that is performed through social initiative with an emphasis on change for the betterment of society. Engagement requires alertness, environmental awareness and sensitivity that inspires one to take a position and seek to have an influence while remaining open-minded and tolerant of conflicting views.
Eli completed his military service in the IDF General Staff Reconnaissance Unit on November 25, 2012, several days after the outbreak of Operation Pillar of Defense. At the behest of the Bnei Zion Mechina, which answered the call to duty on the day the operation began, Eli traveled without thinking twice to Be’er Sheva to serve with his mechina classmates Eti Mendelovich and Hadas Karshai in managing emergency volunteering efforts in the city for Lev Echad. Over the course of the week, Eli and his friends coordinated the work of over six hundred volunteers throughout the city and provided assistance to more than one thousand elderly people, people with disabilities, battered women, children with Down syndrome, and families with children. Eli took the opportunity and ran with it. Today he is the manager of cooperative projects at Lev Echad and a founder of Action Academy, a program for alumni of mechinot and National Civil Service that helps participants find places at points of influence in Israeli society.
The legacy of leadership and social engagement that Eli absorbed at mechina remains his motivation to this day.