IDF Comes Home


Just weeks before one of the IDF’s most prominent generals retired, he took the time to head back for a visit to his high school alma mater. Major General Yoav Mordechai, the high-profile  Coordinator of Israeli Government Activities in the Territories , recently returned to his roots at Boys Town Jerusalem where he graduated in 1982. Among those waiting there to meet him were a beloved teacher and a new generation of students now preparing for their IDF service, higher education and future careers.

I began my studies at Boys Town Jerusalem in ninth grade,” the general told the students, “and I would make that same choice today.

“At first, the intensive studies from 8 AM to 8 PM were very difficult for me. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I know now that the four formative years I spent at this school helped shape my entire path in life. The analytic, logical thinking I learned at Boys Town and the ability to deal with problems became invaluable tools throughout my over 30 years in the Army.”

As Maj. Gen. Mordechai walked through the halls of his alma mater, he was delighted to meet his former teacher Rabbi Moshe Sharabani.

“I will never forget the times I spent as your student and as a guest in your home,” Mordechai said as the two embraced.

“You were a perfect student,” the rabbi praised him. Rabbi Sharabani recalled with a smile how 11th grader Yoav Mordechai had spearheaded and led the school’s first student council, which sparked its share of controversy at the time.

The general’s visit included a close look at his alma mater’s advanced technological departments which could not have been envisioned in his own student days. “BTJ grads are serving in top Cyber Defense units, Iron Dome support teams , and in Cisco computer operation systems,” Dean of Students Rabbi Meir Linchner reported proudly. On the eve of Israel’s Memorial Day, General Mordechai then took a solemn moment to visit Boys Town Jerusalem’s commemorative hall for its 70 fallen grads and instructors, where he lit a candle in their memory.

Addressing a rapt audience of senior students, Maj. Gen. Mordechai stressed, “Today’s IDF possesses the greatest military force, yet our most powerful asset is our soldiers’ conviction in the justness of their cause. When you truly believe in what you are doing, the sky is the limit for achievements. I can assure you that the IDF will enable you to uphold your religious and moral beliefs, while enabling you to soar.”


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