Words that Close Ranks 7, July 2019

Revolving doors

Sapir Yechieli has completed her tenure as coordinator of youth and volunteers in northern Israel and has stepped into her new role as the leader of the "Gal" premilitary college in Akko. We thank Sapir for her excellent work and wish her success and fulfillment in her new position.

Sapir is replaced by Rachel Marks, 26, who grew up in Maalot, served as casualty officer in the engineering corps and is now completing her first degree in Behavioral Sciences at the Ruppin Academic Center. Rachel is a graduate of LEAD leadership development program, she is stepping down from a position at Issie Shapiro House and concurrently volunteers at “Education for Excellence” NGO.

Tal Rabi will complete her tenure as a youth and volunteer coordinator in southern Israel at the end of July and is taking up a job at One Day NGO.

We welcome Amit Tzur, 24, who grew up in Ramat Hasharon. Amit too has graduated from LEAD. She did her military service as an operations administrator in the setup team of the "Lavi" Aircraft development project. Following her service, she worked as an office and HR manager for 3.5 years at Green ICPS. Amit will be trained on the job for her new role by Gal. In her free time, Amit is a social activist. Last October, she contended in the municipal election on a seat in the city council. Currently, she is a member of her town’s municipal committee for the young.


Professional reinforcement

We have grown stronger with two mentor instructors, social workers by training with an experience that spans 25 years in the Ministry of Welfare.

Varda Rapaport from Bror Chayil is a mother of four and grandmother of two. She will instruct the mentors in Lehavim and Jerusalem. Her experience includes moderating a professional forum on diagnostics, therapy, and rehabilitation in the Welfare Ministry.

Rachel Weinstein will instruct the mentors in Shoham. As a clinical social worker, she served in her last position as head of the probation service as a head probation officer for adults in the ministry of welfare and social services. Rachel lives in Maccabim-Reut and is a mother of four and grandmother of five.

Drora Beit-Or, from Rosh Ha’ayin, a mother of three and grandmother of six, has joined us as a mentor and as a member of the doctrine design team.

Drora is a retired criminal judge, mediator, and magistrate in the first community tribunal in Beer Sheba. Today, she chairs the release committee and the appeal committees for invalids by Nazi Persecution and Invalids of the IDF.


Ties come in handy sometimes… 

The IDF’s human resources directorate has approved us to work with soldiers still on active service.

We met with the brigade and battalion commanders of "Kfir" at the Etzion Brigade, established initial contact with the service conditions officer of "Golani", and met with all of the service conditions officers and non-officer commanders at the Border Guard’s headquarters in Lod. In these meetings, we introduced ourselves and offered to provide support to their soldiers, as soon as they are released from active duty.

We are advancing a collaboration with Hillel – an NGO that supports former ultra-orthodox as they make the life-changing decision to leave the ultra-orthodox society and complete their military service. We are planning to set up a training course for their erntors, together with ours, in Tel Aviv, and in Tzfat.

We also met with the staff and graduates of “Gesher El Hanoar”, an NGO that supports teenagers from the Tel Aviv area, up until they are drafted to military service. We will provide support to their graduates.


Academic preparatory courses

Following a successful year of working with students in the academic preparatory course of the "Jezreel Valley Academic College", who are supported by our mentors in the North, we expand the collaboration to additional colleges, including the Sami Shamoon College in Ashdod, the Sapir College in Sderot, Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheba, the Kinneret College, Tzfat Academic College, Ort Brauda and Ruppin Academic Center.


The RASHI Foundation

We are happy to announce a joint venture with the RASHI Foundation, JDC and Israel's ministry of welfare. In the coming month, we will start locating 35 young people who will participate in the pilot in Israel's northern and southern periphery.


Annual General Meeting

Closing Ranks’ annual general meeting was held in June. MK Gabi Ashkenazi attended the meeting too.

In addition to approving the NGO’s financial statements and verbatim reports for 2018, we approved the joining of Rachel Sharvit to our executive committee. Rachel is a former deputy director general in the Ministry of Welfare and the head of the Division for the Young.



Mentees accomplishments

As we enter the fourth year of Closing Ranks, it is gratifying to witness the achievements of the young people we accompany:

The Magazine of the "Tel-Hai" Academic College, which sees light abroad, usually reports on academic research. In its recent issue, it also told the personal story of Moshe Worko, a student of economics. Moshe’s article on “Motorsport as a lever of Economic Growth”, on the economic development of the Galilee Panhandle is also slated to appear on the annual booklet of the government ministries.


Harel Raz, who is mentored by advocate Lior Oren, has graduated successfully in Administration, Government, and Law from the Academic Center for Law and Science (Shaarey Mishpat).

 Garmau Tadese completed a training course in mechatronics offered by the "Atidim" NGO and was hired by Israel Aerospace Industries.

Yahula Israel Kassa, who is mentored by Omri Viden, completed his studies and took up a position as a software tester and IT implementer at Hadas Bashan’s "Nextep IT" Consulting Firm.

We are proud of you!!!

We have ordered pretty backpacks with "Closing Ranks' logo, which we present to anyone who starts or completes vocational training, education or job. The backpacks are waiting for you here. Drop us a line and they’re yours.





We are also happy to report on recent weddings of our graduates:

Daniel Vioshokov (mentored by Efrayim lev), Avishay Moskowitz (mentored by Ron and Lilach Paz), Minimail Kinda (Yossi and Dorit Lev), Alexey Karsin (Dafna Silberman and Ofer Shafran).

Please be informed that each one of our graduates who get married is presented with a couple of indulging beach towels with the 'Closing Ranks’ logo in high-quality embroidery. Please keep us posted so we can deliver the gift.


Persisting in the development of our doctrine

Our doctrine construction team has updated the the mentors on professional confidentiality and duty of reporting. We thank Drora Beit Or and Rachel Sharvit for their professional and pleasant instruction. In the coming months, we will emphasize assessment and measurement (to be led by Danny Koren and Tali Freund) to ensure our practices are professional and optimized.

Rotem’s photo project: documenting the mentoring pairs

The past week was dedicated to taking the photos of our teams in northern Israel. Forty-two teams were photographed and we now look for the missing ones to round up the number to 50. Our photography book will be produced and printed towards the coming Rosh Hashanah.

Training groups on September 19: a friend brings friend

We are preparing for the 5th class of our mentor training groups that will open on September 19. This year, we will offer eight groups across Israel, including new ones in Jerusalem and Tzfat.

Please, give it another push and try to recruit at least one more volunteer!

In our three years of work, we have mentored 220 young people with 280 mentors. By the end of 2019, we would like to support 300 young people with 400 mentors.



The protest of Israelis of Ethiopian origin

Ashamed and hurting, frustrated and indignant we watched – most of us as bystanders but all of us with complete empathy – the humiliation and anger that raged uncontrollably in the searing streets and smoke covered junctions.

The police internal affairs will investigate the incidents,

The government and the Knesset will jabber,

Committees will be set us and volumes of reports will be printed.

At Closing Ranks and our sister-NGOs, we will embrace our beautiful and noble loved ones.

We will ask them to lend an ear and listen, empathically and responsible to the scared mom, to the helpless father, to the humiliated young people who crave to be acknowledged and we will take pride in them when they become the voice of their community and guide it, assertively and wisely, to the promised land, for which they walked the desert and for which many of them have died.

We will support them, with love and compassion, in theirs and our strife for bridging the gap between the dream and the reality.

Together, we will cry out and whisper the song, which Dan Almagor wrote so aptly:


A day will come, a day will come

It will happen fast, and soon

Each one of us knows that

Deep in our hearts

A day will come, it will come, it will come.


A day will come, a day will come

You can see it approaching on the trail

No man will be humiliated again

Because of color or race.

A day will come, it will come, it will come.

Shabat Shalom,

Alon Schuster

Member of the Executive Committee