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.
Staff Sergeant Shato Taspo Z"L
Graduate of the fifth graduating class
Shato Taspo was born in Ethiopia in 1997 and immigrated to Israel in 2006 when he was 9 years old.
Shato lived in Petah Tikva and studied at Atidim School in Rosh HaAyin. He was characterized as an intelligent and curious boy and in parallel with his studies he was educated for seven years at the "Ein Ganim" youth center in Petah Tikva.
After graduating from high school, he chose to join a "One of Us" pre-military preparatory following his ambition to serve in a valuable and significant military unit.
Shato said of the Mechina: "I feel good there. I feel I am developing. People strengthen me and support each other, there is a brotherhood." On weekends, when he returned from the Mechina, he shared with his friends in the neighborhood the stories and experiences he had at the Mechina. His friends say he was a role model for them.
Shato always wanted to be involved in Israeli society and was always looking for ways to help and contribute.
Shatu enlisted in the army and served as a soldier in the Golani Commando but did not tell his mother about it so as not to worry her.
He was "poisoned" by the army and wanted to advance in the army and sign a permanent contract.
Shato fell while on duty in a car accident on his way from training on February 13, 2018.
During the preparatory period, Shato kept a diary in which he expressed his thoughts.
The diary was found after his death and among all the things he wrote were two sentences expressing his aspirations, his special personality and his values:
"Always be stronger than your excuse."
"If I want to be successful in life there is only one thing I have to stand for and that is not to lie to myself in all my life."
Captain Asaf Ramon Z"L
After whom the branch of "Beit Assaf" at Kibbutz Aloney Yitzhak is named
Asaf Ramon, the eldest son of Rona and Ilan, was born in Ramat Gan on Dec. the 10th, 1988.
Assaf enlisted in a pilot course during which he was assigned to a combat course and graduated with honors, similar to his fatherIlan. He received the flying wings and the medal of excellence from the President of the State, Mr. Shimon Peres.
Two and a half months after the end of the pilot course, on the afternoon of September 9, 2009, Assaf took off from Nevatim base for a training flight, during which his plane crashedand he was killed at the age twenty-one. He was laid to rest in the cemetery in Nahalal, and was buried near his father's grave, Ilan. Survived by his mother, two brothers and a sister. After his death he was promoted to captain. On his tombstone the words: "From a childhood dream to a reality." Were engraved. "He fell softly as the tree fell from "The Little Prince".
Master sergeant Hadas Malka Z"L
After whom the "One of Us" girls' pre-military preparatory at Kibbutz Gan Shmuel is named
Hadas Malka, a 23-year-old Border Police commander from Givat Ezer, was killed in a terrorist attack near the Nablus Gate in Jerusalem, after fighting a terrorist who stabbed her several times.
Hadas served in the Border Police in her compulsory service in the IDF and then signed for permanent service in the Border Police. She was promoted to the rank of Master sergeant after her death.
Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh said in her funeral: "At the Border Police, they say that besides being a professional and a "fighter", you were the big sister of all the fighters, you took care of everyone's well-being and a good atmosphere. You always smiled, you always reached out for help, and your joy of life swept everyone away.
According to Hadas' friend: "she is our only warrior, our pride, our queen. She was our private heroine, and now she is the heroine of everyone."
The family friend said: " Hadas excelled in everything she did. She was a role model for her family and friends".
David, Hadas' father, praised her: "We admired you for who you are, for your accomplishments, kindness, tolerance, wisdom, leadership and joy of life that characterized you so much. Our Hadas, so young, our girl, the imprint of a great seal, a seal Of the love of the people and the state. With devotion and great heroism".
Hadas Malka was laid to rest in the military section of the Ashdod cemetery.
She is survived by a couple of parents, three sisters and two brothers.
Rona Ramon Z"L
A true partner of "One of Us"
Rona Ramon, was born on April 16, 1964 and grew up in Kiryat Ono. Her parents immigrated from Turkey as part of the "Youth Aliyah" and fulfilled the Zionist dream of raise a family in the Land of Israel based on the values of Zionism and love of the country.
In the Army she served as a paramedic and upon her release enrolled in undergraduate studies at the Wingate Institute of Physical Education.
She met her husband, the late Col. Ilan Ramon, during her studies. The two fell in love and got married. The couple had three sons and a daughter - Asaf, Tal, Yiftach and Noa. During his service in the Air Force as a pilot with the rank of colonel, Ilan was chosen to be the first Israeli astronaut.
In 1998, the Ramon family moved to Houston, Texas. Rona accompanied Ilan through the lengthy training process at NASA and assisted him in selecting the items he took for the Columbia shuttle: "It was important to us to make personal success to a national success - and let all parts of the nation take part in the wonderful mission in space" she said in her lectures.
In February 2003, the worst of all happened, Ilan crashed with the rest of the mission team in the Columbia ferry disaster, as they were making their way back to Earth.
Rona did not allow the bereavement to wrap her up. She worked to establish the "Ramon Foundation" in the Ministry of Science in 2008 which has led a series of educational and social initiatives in the last decade.
In September 2009, a few days before Rosh Hashanah, Captain Asaf Ramon - Rona's eldest son, was killed in a training accident. Like his father, Asaf fulfilled his dream and became an outstanding fighter pilot in the Israeli Air Force.
In 2010, Rona founded the "Keren Ramon Association" and served as its president.
She encouraged and promoted academic achievement and social involvement among youth - in the spirit and the character of Ilan and Asaf Ramon. Over one hundred thousand teenagers take part every year in activities initiated by Ramon.
In addition, Rona, together with the "One of Us" pre-military preparatory, established the "Beit Asaf" branch.
In 2016, she was chosen to light a beacon at thenational ceremony on Mount Herzl under the title "Israeli Heroism" and was named the "Israeli Space Ambassador". Despite the personal and family bereavement and despite the double national tragedy, Rona chose a life of full meaning and set herself the goal of working for the benefit of the State of Israel and for future generations.
Rona passed away on December 17, 2018 after dealing with a serious illness and she is only 54 years old.