Defense and Security
Yaakov Dori
One of the founders of the Israeli military, Yaakov Dori was best known for his position as IDF’s chief of staff. Born in Ukraine in 1899, he enlisted in the Jewish Legion of the British Army in World War I before coming to Palestine. In 1926, he began his career serving the people, of what would become Israel, when he joined the Haganah. In the Haganah, Dori helped usher the organization's transition from a ragtag group of Zionists into a robust, fully efficient army. He was so dedicated to protecting the Jewish people, that he was known to wear the pin he received when he became a second lieutenant in the Haganah well into his retirement. Dori also served as the president of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. He died in 1973 in Haifa.
Col. Roman Gofman
Born in the USSR, Col. Roman Gofman immigrated to Israel in 1990. In 2015, he became the commander of the IDF’s Gush Etzion territorial brigade. According to Gofman, the brigade's mission is to defend Gush Etzion and its residents, prevent terrorism from reaching the home front, and safeguard law and order and the fabric of life. The highly respected brigade played a role in many major Israeli wars. Gofman has supervised raids that have uncovered illegal weapons held by Palestinians in the West Bank. He has also served as the commander of the 7th Brigade since August 2017.
Eliyahu Golomb
Born in 1893 in the Grodno province, Eliyahu Golomb was a founding member of the Haganah and served on its command council. Golomb felt strongly that the responsibility to protect one's country shouldn't fall solely on the shoulders of the elite, rather that the army should be an egalitarian force comprised of the entire population. As such, during his time at the Haganah, he trained many future commanders. He also helped fund and organize much of the “illegal” immigration of Jews to Palestine in the 1930’s. Golomb died in 1945 and his home in Tel Aviv has been converted into a museum for the Haganah called Beit Eliyahu.
Isser Harel
The Israeli security official, Isser Harel, was born in 1912 in Vitebsk, in the Volozhyn region of czarist Russia. In 1930, Harel entered British Mandatory Palestine. After the state was founded, Harel was the head of the Mossad from 1952 until 1963 and oversaw the Shin Bet in 1958. He is best known for the 1960 kidnapping of Adolf Eichmann, the former SS officer who had overseen the carrying out of the “final solution” in Nazi Germany. Harel briefly served as a special security advisor for Prime Minister, Levi Eshkol, from 1965 to 1966 and served one term in the Knesset from 1969 to 1973. He died in 2003 in a suburb of Tel Aviv.
Joseph Trumpeldor
The Zionist warrior, Joseph Trumpeldor, was born in 1880 in Russia. He became a Zionist as a teenager, moving to the Holy Land for the first time directly after the Russo-Japanese war. When World War I broke out, the Ottomans kicked Trumpeldor out of the area and he took refuge in Egypt. There, he met Ze’ev Jabotinsky, and the two men helped form the famed Jewish Legion a few years later. Soon, he returned to British-ruled Mandatory Palestine to fight for Jewish settlement. Trumpeldor was critically wounded in a battle with Arabs at Tel Hai in 1920. When doctors arrived and asked Trumpeldor how he was feeling, he said his famous last words, which were immortalized within the annals of Israeli history: “Never mind, it is good to die for our country.”
Alexander Zaid
Born in 1886 in Zima, a town in Siberia, Alexander Zaid moved to Vilna at the age of 14, where he joined the Zionist movement. After moving to Palestine in 1904, he subsequently helped establish one of the first Jewish watchmen’s organizations, called Bar-Giora. In Israel, Zaid and his wife were founders of Kibbutz Kfar Giladi in the Galilee. In 1909, he helped found Hashomer, a Jewish defense organization, which was a cause he dedicated his life to. After frequent brushes with Arab rioters during his time in Israel, Zaid was killed in July 1938 by a group of Arab terrorists. A statue was erected in the Jezreel Valley, to honor his memory.