History was made in Nes Harim this week: the heads of all 53 mechinot (pre-military leadership academies) signed a covenant declaring the objectives, points of consensus, and ethical constraints that bind all of the mechinot.
The partners who saw the formulation of the covenant to a successful conclusion are Dani Zamir, CEO of the Joint Council of Mechinot; Rabbi Eli Sadan, the father of both the Orthodox and the secular mechinot and head of Mechinat Bnei David; Yossi Baruch, head of the Mechina of the Upper Galilee; and Rabbi Yitzhak Nissim, head of Mechinat Elisha. They were joined by the KKL, a Joint Council partner that helped define and formalize points of agreement and rules of discourse.
The committee met every month for over a year, in addition to several intensive two-day conferences, to draw up this landmark agreement.
The full text of the covenant:
In the seventieth year of the State of Israel, in our capacity as the heads of the mechinot, which reflect disparate ideological views and perspectives united under the Joint Council of Mechinot, we have assembled in the month of March 2018 (Nisan 5778) at Nes Harim to affirm the values and axioms underlying our partnership.
The mechinot view it as their privilege and their duty to educate toward ethical and practical partnership between all parts of the nation. This partnership, seemly and valuable in its own right, is a crucial and existential one for the IDF, the society of Israel, and the State of Israel.
Alongside the recognition that each mechina educates in its own way, the following values and principles are agreed by us all:
* The mechinot educate toward the existence in the Jewish and democratic State of Israel of a model society emerging from dedication to Jewish heritage and democratic values in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel.
* The mechinot educate toward a life of mission, contribution, and Zionist action for the sake of the State of Israel, Israeli society, and the Jewish people.
* The mechinot view service in the IDF as an obligation and a privilege, and educate their graduates to do the best in their various positions in military service, according to the requirements of the military, and especially combat roles, command positions, and the officer corps.
* The mechinot educate toward mutual responsibility and the pursuit of cohesion between the parts of the public as an existential foundation of the strength of the State of Israel.
* The mechinot educate toward leadership, integrity, and taking responsibility in military service and in civilian life.
* The mechinot educate toward a patriotism that respects the institutions of the State and its agents.
* The mechinot take it upon themselves to engage in a pertinent and respectful discourse even at times of disharmony, eschewing expressions offensive to persons or groups within Israeli society in general and within the world of the mechinot in particular, as an essential approach and as a model for Israeli society.
“… United, tenacious, vigorous, an endeavor of a thousand arms.
Verily, cannot the rock be rolled from the wellhead?”
—Rachel Bluwstein, “Here upon the Earth”