Closing Ranks’ Newsletter No. 8

Rosh Hashanah 5780 (2019)

Elections: our version

While the State is struggling its multiple election campaigns, tensions in the borders and the busy times of the holidays, our forces at Closing Ranks continue to charge ahead in full momentum, expanding our activities and fulfilling our promise to the voters… well, not precisely, to ourselves.

On the eve of this Rosh Hashanah, we have 270 mentees accompanied by 350 mentors, working to reach 300 individuals coached by 400 volunteers by the end of 2019.

Towards the end of 2019, we will kick off the fifth class, which comprises nine groups of mentors at: Carmiel, Emek Hefer, Shoham, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Yavne, and the Negev. Seven of the groups are brand new, while two are "train groups".

Fresh news

Our staff has been recently invigorated with new forces:

Amit Tsur from Ramat Hasharon stepped in as the office and human resources manager.

Roni Weinberg from Lachish, who currently lives in Beer Sheba, has joined us as a youth and volunteer coordinator in the South.

Noa Levron from Kibbutz Givat Haim will join us after the holidays as the youth and volunteer coordinator for central Israel.

Rachel Marx from Maalot, who currently lives in Emek Hefer, assumed responsibility as the youth and volunteer coordinator in the north.

After three years, we separated from Gal Janah, who moved on to a challenging role in the HR department of RAFAEL. Gal has helped establish the organization and has significantly contributed to building a solid foundation for our organization, always enthusiastically, professionally and with a big smile. Gal, working with you was a pleasure! We wish you lots of success in your future endeavors!


Dear diary,

Meeting with TASH officers: the Association’s staff met with a group of IDF’s TASH (Hebrew acronym for “service conditions”) officers who just completed their professional training in the south and are now assigned to training bases across Israel.

We introduced the Association and described our work to make them aware that they can refer to us soldiers about to complete their military services.

"Bridge to the Youth” in Tel Aviv – we are about to start a joint pilot, in which we will support mentors for youth at risk who will enlist in the army shortly. “Gesher el Hanoar” was founded 20 years ago by Varda and Dov Halperin. The Association operates four homes in the Tel Aviv area, which provide a homely environment for the youth for the afternoon and evening hours during their high school years. There, they receive help with homework, learn life skills, get prepared for their military service, and more. The purpose is to walk with them all the way to meaningful military service as well as make them aware of the option of mentoring at Closing Ranks once they complete their service.

The Tzur Shalem Preparatory Course: we have started supporting the mentors of Tzur Shalem’s graduates about to complete their military service. Some 30 young individuals study in the pre-military course every year, before they enlist together in the NAHAL. Several months before being discharged from military service, they undergo CNC and welding training to ease their way into the industry. The vocational training is held near Carmiel and is funded by Stef Wertheimer. Most of the participants chose to be supported by a mentor as part of a joint project aided by Closing Ranks.

"Ofek Darom" (South Horizon") at Intel: Intel Israel has launched a recruitment effort in which it recruited over 130 employees from Kiryat Gat and its vicinity. This is the first time that the company is recruiting employees with no engineering training and trains them to work at the Intel cleanroom with an option to complete a technical engineer certification. Each employee is teamed with a professional mentor who guides him/her to achieve optimal integration in the factory.

We are looking into a possible collaboration with Intel, where we will leverage our experience and know-how in supporting the mentors.

Colleges, academic preparatory courses and IDF: we continue to recruit mentees referred to us by the Kineret, Ort Braude, Zefat, Emek Jezreel Valley, Ruppin, Jerusalem College of Technology, Sami Chamoun and Sapir colleges, as well as from the preparatory courses of Ben Gurion and Bar Ilan Universities and the Israel Border Police.

The Shimshit community projects: at the beginning of September, we met with the mentors of Shimshit. With the help and participation of the people of Shimshit, we launched the first community project with 35 volunteers!

We concluded the project in an emotive evening, where the young participants and the mentors shared their experience with us.

If you, who do not live in Shimshit, believe your community could benefit from a similar group, contact us and we will be happy to help you advance the initiative.

Pampering is fun

On the occasion of the New Year, we have ordered several practical products that could prove useful for people who start a new job, course or training, get married, has a new baby or marks another significant life milestone.

Each one of the young people you have supported or support as part of Closing Ranks is invited to choose one of the following: a backpack (1); Speaker (2); or a 32GB USB flash memory (3).

The pairs of huge, soft towels (4) are designated for those who are Getting married.

The photos that say it all

We have completed compiling the materials. For 18 months, Rotem Avrutsky has voluntarily photographed the 52 teams that agreed to participate. As usual, he did it with the utmost sensitivity.

Rutie Magides (one of our mentors), volunteered to edit the materials and has done it very professionally.

Avital Sempson translated into English, and Orly Hatzofeh looked after the graphical design.

We were happy to hear from the subjects who arrived at Rotem’s roaming studio that the shooting session was a unique and enjoyable experience.

Always together

Our friend, Shamay Ran, a co-founder of Closing Ranks, invites you to a get-together and fundraiser event for the “Paratroopers Fund”, which helps the widows and orphans of paratroopers and "shabak" fighters who had lost their lives.

The event will take place on Sunday, October 27, at 19:00, at the Kibbutz Shfayim Auditorium.

For more information and registration, visit

One of us

Benny Gantz, a co-founder of Closing Ranks, has dived into the stormy waters, pulling me with him. Together with other friends representing all factions of the Israel legislature, we bring the Knesset a fresh spirit of dedication to the love of human beings and their improvement, which guides each one of us in our respective fields.

We will implement in the national arena the positive attitude of Closing Ranks, the joy of discovering each other’s differences and diversity, the unrelenting desire to learn from other people, the understanding that every human being has time to shine and that every moment is an opportunity for improvement.

My dear and virtuous friends,

I wish you a year of curiosity and joy, health, and discipline!

May you be written and sealed for a good year!

Alon Schuster

And the staff of Closing Ranks