"Even when meeting a General, I mention being a Nachshon graduate"
Shmuel Ezra, a graduate of the (first) Nachshon class of 1998, is a Major in the IDF who also attends government studies at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzlyia. At the age of eight, he made Aliyah from Ethiopia. He first heard of Nachshon while studying at Yemin Orde Youth Village:
"I felt like I needed something before the army, something more than just school. I saw a leaflet of Nachshon and immediately connected. When I came to Nachshon, I felt at home very quickly".
- What made you feel so connected?
"The ideology, the Zionism, the way of life – but the most meaningful experience for me was the company. When you're living with a bunch of good people, who believe in giving it all for the benefit of society, you learn from them and grow with them. This is also true for the staff. I was greatly influenced by Ze'evik (Nachshon Headmaster). My entire leadership philosophy derives from his teachings".
- How did Nachshon influence your military service?
"I was first recruited to an elite unit. But at Nachshon we constantly talked about our ability to influence others. That's why I chose to serve as an officer in the battalions, and not in the elite units. I knew that was the place where I could influence and educate more. I bring the spirit of Nachshon to everywhere I go – not just to my soldiers. Even when I meet a General, I mention being a Nachshon graduate. I'm proud of it".
- Why is it important that people continue to come to Nachshon?
"Without a doubt, Nachshon is a worthwhile investment, for the entire society. Even after ten years, I feel that this place empowers the people who are interested and committed to serving and shaping our country and community".
"Nachshon caused a 180 degree transformation in my life"
Na'ama Nissan, graduate of the class of 2001, studies social work at Tel-Chai Academic College. In spring 2007, she headed the students' strike at her college.
Na'ama recalls where it all began: "I sometimes say that I owe my life to Nachshon. I came to Nachshon after a confusing period, and Nachshon made me realize who Na'ama really is. This process, that began at Nachshon and brought so much out of me, was very meaningful and actually continues even today".
- How do you feel Nachshon has influenced you since graduating?
"In many ways, Nachshon caused a 180 degree transformation in my life. I discovered my sense of leadership, and that contributed a lot to my self confidence. At the same time, my will to serve the Israeli society developed a lot".
"I went to officer school and served in field positions, I became a very involved go-getter, I lead the students' strike at my college – this all started with the first activity at Nachshon".
- Why do you think it is important that people continue to come to Nachshon?
"Nowhere else can you learn the values, the knowledge and the tools acquired at Nachshon. That's why it's important, before taking the plunge into the IDF and the 'real life', to come here and examine who you are, where you are going and what you want to achieve. Nachshon is an amazing experience that gave me the opportunity to go through this process, acquire these tools and fulfill my potential".