THE ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES: A FORCE FOR SOCIAL CHANGE

September 29, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Posted in Press Releases | Leave a comment
  • Visiting delegation in Cleveland for educational summit – Interview opportunities available. Call for details.

WHO: Lt. Col. Raz Karny, outgoing commander of the Havat HaShomer army base, chosen as one of the past year’s most influential change agents in Israel.  Under Karny’s leadership there has been an increased success rate (85-90%) in enabling at-risk young men to become Israeli soldiers and enter mainstream Israeli society.

WHAT: Lt. Col. Karny is the commander of a special program for unlikely army recruits – those who have dropped out of school, have police records, have been involved in serious crimes, grew up in environments and institutions surrounded by violence, alcohol, and drugs.  This program, a partnership with the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, has given a second chance to more than 9,000 youth to date and marks the first time a division of the IDF has worked with a community outside of Israel to address a vital social concern within Israel.

WHEN: October 3 – 7

WHY: Through Karny’s leadership ability as a change agent, these troubled young men are given an opportunity to achieve a productive future that seemed impossible. “What sets some of our soldiers apart is that they have no dreams,” says Karny. “The soldiers have ‘deep wounds’. There’s one soldier who saw his father murder his mother. It’s very complex, and the state does not have the tools. If civil society could cope with this challenge successfully, there would be no need to do what we do here.”

SO WHAT: Lt. Col. Karny and 6 officers of the Havat HaShomer army base will visit students and staff at Bellefaire JCB and the Eleanor Gerson School, two local organizations who work with at-risk teens.  The mission is part of an on-going project in which Cleveland psychologists and social workers are serving as consultants to “train the trainers” working at this unique army base with its special populations.

– JFC –

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