On June 7th, we received the final visit of Bnei Gad for their last activities of the season in the Israel Air Force Center. Bnei Gad was formed under the auspices of the Ministry of Welfare for youth at risk. Each of these teenagers have their own difficult personal histories and the State of Israel affords them the opportunity to rehabilitate through this pre-military academy. Not all them succeed in overcoming their personal difficulties, but our special courses seem to be the highlight of their year.
They began their day at the Center with a lecture by Major Liron Tabib on the Israel Air Force values. We continued the program by transferring them to the "Squadron" (an F-16 simulator at the Glilot Cinema City for their first experience in flying an F-16 simulator. They actually dress in pressure flight suit, and it really feels as though they are in the cockpit and in control of the flight and the operation of the F-16 fire power. All of the participants are thrilled when they receive a certificate of their personal results as the pilots.
We then returned them to the Israel Air Force Center to be seated in our “Escape Room”. We separate them into groups, each of which is given difficult “puzzle” problems which they had to solve. It was amazing that these underprivileged youths were equal to the task and solved all of them. Obviously, they enjoyed this experience tremendously.
Some of these youngsters come from ultra-Orthodox backgrounds. They have left their families who did not accept them. They feel alone in the world and are inclined to join the Israeli Defense Forces. The IDF’s mew policies are to encourage this program. This Pre-Military framework gives them a safe place to grow and develop.
We are very happy to continue being a part of this program.