Pre-military Program Head, ‘Torn and Broken,’ Resigns Over Flood Tragedy

'Since the tragedy I am torn and broken. I will never be able to find the words to express the sorrow I feel' the ex-head, who is under house arrest, says

Israeli rescue services personnel operate near the site where a group of Israeli youths was swept away by a flash flood, Israel, April 26, 2018.
\ AMIR COHEN/ REUTERS

Yuval Kahan, director of the Bnei Zion pre-military academy (mechina) that sponsored last week’s trip to the south in which 10 teenagers were killed by floods, announced his resignation Wednesday.

“Since the tragedy I am torn and broken. I will never be able to find the words to express the sorrow I feel,” he said. “The job of a mechina head is first and foremost an educational position that requires the full trust of the students, their families, and everyone the mechina touches. I know that under the shadow of this terrible tragedy, that trust, which is the foundation for the ability to lead and educate, cannot exist.

“I am sure that the mechina – its students, teachers, counselors and graduates – will continue to grow, to do good and to educate in the values of Zionism, humanity and truth,” Kahan said. “I will continue to be committed to everything that will be required of me for this enterprise and its continuation. I cannot even begin to comfort the families who have lost what’s most precious of all. I share in their terrible pain.”

On Monday police released Kahan to house arrest for five days, along with the counselor, Aviv Berditchev, who had organized the trip. Both Kahan and Berditchev were forbidden to enter the offices of the Bnei Zion nonprofit association or to contact anyone connected to the investigation for 10 days. According to an ITN TV report, police said mechina staffers had consulted with a weather forecasting company and with a mechina graduate who serves in the air force as a forecaster.