Pre-IDF academy launches Israel Cadet Trek 2016

Amid breathtaking scenery, bike trek benefiting disadvantaged IDF soldiers launches, includes on-site reviews of historic battles.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Israel Cadet Trek
Israel Cadet Trek

The pre-Israel Defense Forces Preparatory Academy in Beit El launches its Israel Cadet Trek 2016 this week in the Galilee. The cadets, alongside cyclists from the USA and Israel, will peddle through Israel’s most breathtaking scenery, stopping for briefings on acts of heroism and historic battles waged by Jewish warriors from biblical to modern times. 

Beit El’s cadets come exclusively from Israel’s traditional underclass - Sephardic, Yemenite and Ethiopian homes. The Academy staff brings them from zero motivation to serve in the IDF, to readiness to volunteer for elite combat units and to become officers. 

Students at Beit El's IDF Prep Academy

The Defense Ministry views the pre-IDF Prep Academy as the brink of a societal revolution for Israel and provides matching funds of 40% for each student who delays his enlistment for a year to attend the academy. Even then, the students can’t afford the remaining tuition. Funds raised on Israel Cadet Trek 2016 provide scholarships enabling these students to enlist via the academy, and helps them also when they return from their IDF service to pay their way through college.

One particularly disadvantaged cadet this year is “M” from Be'er Sheva who is fighting the system to allow him to enlist despite his past.

Cadets training for Israel Cadet Trek 2016

Four years ago, M’s father committed suicide. The family fell into desperate financial straits and soon M was in court facing a criminal charge. The Juvenile Court ordered him to attend a correctional boarding high school.

“What really changed my life 180 degrees was the love and respect that I received from the staff at the IDF Prep Academy in Beit El after high school,” says M. “From the first hour in Beit El, the staff totally accepted me, saw only the positive in me and imbued within me self-esteem and a vision for my future,” he adds. M also began to embrace his Jewish identity at Beit El’s Prep Academy.

Despite his educator’s high recommendations to the contrary, the state correctional officer coldly clings to protocol which dictates that he undergo another 20 months of group therapy before being allowed to enlist.

To date, he has cooperated 100% with the correctional officer and attended 18 months of group therapy successfully. 

The Dean of the IDF Prep Academy Rabbi Uri Sharabi says M is a very happy student, a positive force and popular among his peers. Rabbi Sharabi says, “Not only will M follow orders with great dedication, but he’s ready to lead. Stopping him now will crush him and leave him without a framework and without his peers.”

On an uphill stretcher march

Determined to aid M’s struggle, the Academy, as a last resort, is taking upon itself the hiring of a leading attorney and the acquisition of recommendations from prominent psychologists to influence the court in a fateful August session to allow M to fulfill his dream and enlist with his peers. 

The cost of M’s battle which has good chances to succeed is 25,000 NIS ($6,500).

Donations to the Israel Cadet Trek will also finance M’s struggle to realize his dream. In his family, M is the only religious member and has emerged as the leading figure of solidity and authority. On the site, supporters can make any size US Tax deductible donation.