More than 30 percent of all students who are inducted into the Israel Defense Forces from the Hesder yeshiva in Itamar take command positions before they return to study, according to a Monday report by Maariv/nrg. The Hesder yeshiva program combines army service with Torah study. Sources at the Union of Hesder Yeshivas say that the percentage of commanders coming out of the Itamar yeshiva is very high in comparison to Hesder yeshivas in general.
On Independence Day, one of the Itamar students received a citation for being an outstanding paratroop platoon commander. Among the former leaders of the 11-year-old yeshiva is current Chief Rabbi of the IDF, Avichai Ronsky.
Rabbi Ya'akov Cohen, the current head of the yeshiva, says the school is "comprised of people with very strong character and many strengths." Regarding what they do with those strengths, he added, "It doesn't matter if they choose to study Torah more deeply or a more significant contribution to the IDF; the important thing is that the choice comes from deep in their hearts."