A tribute to their memory
Meir Dagan Z"L
Maj. Gen. (Res.), Former Mossad chief and first president of "One of Us"
Meir Dagan was very connected to the "one of ours" family.
His full identification with the values that led the Mechina led him to support it.
Meir made sure to speak with the trainees every year and get to know them and the preparatory program in depth.
Meir's love and support can be seen in his letter of appeal to people and organizations in order to enlist in support of the preparatory program:
"As an IDF reserve general and former head of the Mossad, and with a lot of faith in the goal of the preparatory program and trust in the dedication and professionalism of those who lead it, I stand behind the preparatory program. I believe that the preparatory program is very important for the advancement of youth, together with the strengthening of the human resources in the IDF, and together with me, many volunteers are doing their utmost for their survival and success."
Lieutenant Pini (Pinchas) Cohen Z"L
After whom the "One of Us" Mechina is named
"One of us" The name already says it all.
Any person or group of people who had a connection to Pini Cohen regardless of their opinions, origin, place of residence, ethnicity or religion could have said of Pini: "This guy is one of us."
Pini got in touch with everyone he met, and with his special smile Pini knew how to give everyone the feeling that he was his best friend.
He could listen, help and support everyone. Pini saw great importance in enlisting every soldier in the IDF.
He believed that everyone could contribute at every level and in every position and every soldier should try to contribute as much as he could.
He believed that education was the key to change and the ability to achieve high goals, and therefore thought that every officer should improve the level of his soldiers in all respects: the mental, the human, the military and the professional.
Staff Sergeant Jordan Ben Simon Z"L
Graduate of the first graduating class
Jordan Ben Simon was a graduate of the Mechina and a fighter in the Egoz unit that fell in Operation Eitan Cliff.
He immigrated to Israel at the age of 16, dreamed and aspired to do meaningful service, and with this faith he reached the pre-army.
Jordan was a true Zionist who loved the country and Israeli society.
From what Jordan read at the end of the preparatory course:
"My name is Jordan Ben Simon and I immigrated to Israel at the age of 16. I decided to enlist even though my entire family is still in France, and when I decided to enlist, I knew only one thing: to do meaningful service in the IDF. But I did not really know how to get there. I remember being at my grandmother's house and getting a phone call from the program. The truth is that before I arrived I took the whole suitcase and knew I would stay. And then I had a very good year.
On my first day in the preparatory program, Meir Dagan came to visit us and on Monday we did training with sailors. I said to myself: Wow, what's going on here? Where am I?
I started learning things in all kinds of fields. In addition, I traveled a lot, so much so that this year I got to know Eretz Yisrael better than France.
Sometimes I think what would have happened to me if I had enlisted directly into the army ... Today I understand how lucky I was and I feel a little sorry for people I know who did not get the chance.