Information about Lev Aharon in Hebrew
Lev Aharon provides the topmost echelons of Israeli army officers with the tools to instill in their troops and themselves a deep awareness of their Jewish-Israeli identity and an understanding of its complexity and diversity. By assisting senior officers in developing a strong, positive relationship with their Jewish-Israeli identity and an understanding of the relevance of Jewish values, ethics, and heritage to their role, Lev Aharon empowers and motivates these leaders in their mission while strengthening the ethos and operations of the Israel Defense Forces.
The Kogod Center’s Applied Military Ethics research team is tasked with creating the thought and curricula that are used in the Lev Aharon program for training and educating senior IDF officers on matters of military ethics and morality. The instructive component of the program is led by top Hartman Institute scholars and guest scholars representing different streams of Jewish thought.
Lev Aharon seminars initiate a personal learning and growth process in more than 1,500 high-ranking officers a year. Participants explore leadership ideals in Judaism and Zionism through lectures, text study, and intimate group discussion. The program is not aimed at changing perspectives or providing particular answers but at providing an open and intimate environment in which to ask questions and discuss challenging issues.
The seminars focus on values and morality, exploring the gaps between different sectors in Israeli society, the idea of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, the history of the Jewish people, and Jewish heritage. The transformative seminars often provide officers with their first opportunity for intimate, unguarded, honest expression within the military framework.
The director of the Lev Aharon program is Colonel Yaakov Castel (res). A reserve Colonel in the Israel Defense Forces, Ya’akov served most recently as director of the IDF’s Department of Education.
Approximately 40 Lev Aharon faculty members are drawn from the Hartman Institute, the IDF, and leading institutions in Israel. Faculty members include, among others, Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman, Dr. Orit Avnery, Professor Asher Cohen, Avital Davidovitch-Eshed, Dr. Micah Goodman, Professor Moshe Halbertal, Professor Moshe Idel, Professor Menachem Lorberbaum, Professor Ron Margolin, Dr. Ariel Picard, Professor Avi Sagi, and Professor Eliezer Schvied.
Workshop facilitators are doctoral candidates and lecturers in Jewish studies and thought.