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01/01/2018 - It’s Not Just Guns and Tanks:
Negba’s Soldier-Educator Exposes Army Opportunities for Negba’s Teens

Serving in the Israeli Army is a rite-of-passage for Israel’s youth. In high school, Mor Shtainmez knew she’d reach that period one day. But she wanted to do something different. She elected to perform her two-year compulsory military service in the community as a Mora Chayelet- as a soldier-educator. In her first year Mor worked in Beersheva teaching Hebrew to underprivileged immigrant populations at a school, and at youth clubs. And for her second year of service, Mor, now 19, has recently begun working at Negba’s Teen Club in Beersheva.

“This is the first Mora Chayelet in the history of Negba, and we are delighted to have Mor on staff,” said Eyal Peretz, Negba’s Program and Human Resources Director. “Mor is a social counselor at the Teen Club, and is also responsible for exposing the teens to the world of the army and helping the older youths navigate through the conscription process.”

Any Israeli teen can attest to the anxiety and deliberations that accompany the army recruitment process, which can begin as early as at the end of 10th grade, at the age of 16. Mor hopes to allay some fears. “My main aim in working at Negba is to enable teens to grow personally as individuals and improve academically,” said Mor. “And I also want to help them get through the stressful stages of enlisting in the army.”

Many teens see the army as a domain reserved for society’s elite, and one that’s all about heroism and fighting. Mor wants to restore the belief that it is a place for everyone. “I want to convey to the teens that serving in the army is something they each can aspire to, with many possibilities to serve our country,” said Mor. “As a soldier-educator, even my position is not something they are familiar with, and it will show them that the army is not just about being a combat soldier. There are so many positions, and each teen can find something meaningful to do in the army.”

A central objective of Negba’s Teen Club is to help youth to draft successfully into the military, which in Israel, is an important step towards integration into mainstream society. Negba is confident that Mor will be instrumental in advancing this goal.

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