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Commander-Educators in the Palmach and the IDF

To mark Yom Hazikaron, Israel's Memorial Day, the Mandel IDF Educational Leadership Program held a virtual seminar in partnership with the Palmach Museum

At a seminar held on the day before Yom Hazikaron, Israel's Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers, the fellows of the Mandel IDF Educational Leadership Program learned about different aspects of leadership displayed by commanders in the Palmach, (the elite strike force of the Haganah, the military defense force of the Jewish Yishuv in pre-State Israel), and explored how those aspects of leadership have shaped concepts of command and leadership in the IDF.

The seminar was opened by Shiri Erlich-Parasol, director of the Palmach Museum, who presented the historical background that led to the establishment of the Palmach and discussed the founding principles of the philosophy of leadership developed by its early commanders.

Major General (ret.) Amos Horev and Major General (ret.) Yeshayahu "Shaike" Gavish spoke about their experiences as commanders in the Palmach, and highlighted the importance of listening to those under your command, setting a personal example, and understanding the educational role of the commander.

The author Israel Visler, better known by the pen name Pucho, represented the vantage point of Palmach soldiers who were not commanders. He shared the thoughts and experiences he had as a young Palmach fighter, often adding his own unique and at times entertaining perspective.

The seminar also included a screening of excerpts from the documentary film “Shurot Shurot” directed by Sivan Arbel. These excerpts highlighted the involvement of Palmach members in Israeli arts and culture over the years, as well as their complex attitude towards the many losses and casualties suffered during the War of Independence.

IDF joint study day on the Palmach