Selecting the person of the year or the event of the year is always a challenge of choosing between the obvious and the "other" option, which is less readily identifiable, not as famous but embodies a significant activity with far-reaching influence.
For the sake of full disclosure, among my other activities, I am a volunteer lecturer at the pre-military prep schools, so I am thoroughly familiar with their activities.
The Tzafit Wadi disaster, of all things, calls for a more profound reflection on the efforts and processes involved in the schooling, training and maturation of the boys and girls enrolled in the pre-military prep schools. I would like to stress the contribution they make, which qualifies them, at least as far as I am concerned, as the most significant element of the past year.
Firstly, alongside the youngsters who volunteer for an additional "year of service," the students of the pre-military prep schools represent the willingness to devote a year of your life just to be better, to learn and understand more – all in order to contribute more during their lifetime generally and during their military service in particular.
Secondly, these youngsters serve as role models within their own family units, and more and more brothers and sisters follow the example of their elder siblings and join the pre-military prep schools. It is a meaningful personal example that proves that this element is still relevant and can help raise a generation where personal example is an inbuilt element of interpersonal and social conduct.
Thirdly, no one can ignore the ever-increasing numbers of pre-military prep school graduates, who insist on significant service and regard officer training as a complementary phase of the year spent at the pre-military prep school.
It is my hope that we can continue to expand the scope of activity of these schools, thereby enhancing their positive influence on the fabric and quality of the society we live in.