IDF Spokesperson at BTJ
Six months after being named to the prestigious post of Chief Spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Forces, Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai came back to his high school alma mater, Boys Town Jerusalem. “I began my journey here,” he told students and faculty. “This is where I learned the discipline, the tools for analyzing problems, and the devotion to study that I’ve taken with me throughout my 30 years in the military.”
Mordechai, a 1982 graduate of Boys Town, holds the distinction of being the first IDF Spokespersons in recent years to have extensive experience as a field commander, as well as one of the first to be fluent in Arabic and an expert in Arab affairs. In this position, he is directly subordinate to the Chief of the General Staff, and serves as the spokesperson for the IDF to the domestic and foreign media. Previously, Mordechai served as a combat soldier, in the Intelligence Directorate, and as chief of civilian administration in Judea and Samaria.
During his visit to the Boys Town campus, Brig. Gen. Mordechai was reunited with many of his former instructors, including his much-loved teacher, Rabbi Moshe Sharabani. “I’ve never forgotten the many times I was a guest at the rabbi’s home when I lived in the dormitory,” the general said. “His personal example of kindness and wisdom has remained with me to this day.”
Brig. Gen. Mordechai was given a tour of the campus and briefed on Boys Town’s current programs in conjunction with the IDF: “Shachak” to train top technicians for the Air Force, and “Marom” to cultivate officers to develop new weapons systems for the Ordnance Corps. Afterwards, he addressed several hundred students, assuring them that, like himself, they will value the significant assets that Boys Town gives its students. “Here I gained the spirit to provide strength for the years ahead,” he declared. Brig. Gen. Mordechai noted that in his 30 years of commanding thousands of soldiers, he has met many fellow BTJ grads, all of whom make major contributions to the Israeli Defense Forces.
The IDF Spokesperson then opened the floor to questions from the students. Yigal Tzvi Choshen, a resident of Ofakim, asked how the IDF is prepared to deal with escalating rocket attacks on his city and Israel’s south. “Unfortunately, the ‘Iron Dome’ mobile air defense system is not a total solution,” Brig. Gen. Mordechai responded. “Hamas rockets are reaching an ever-increasing range, and it may be necessary to wage a major attack on Gaza to destroy the deadly arsenals. For now, the IDF continues to thwart a large number of ongoing terror attacks in real time, thanks to Israel’s development of highly sophisticated electronic armaments.” In answer to a question about the high price of the prisoner exchange for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, Brig. Gen. Mordechai noted that he was present during the deliberations by the General Staff. “As painful as our choice was, we showed the world the Jewish People’s power and passion for the value of a human life. We are different from all other armies of the world.”