introduction הדפס

The Center for Defence Studies

1 Yasmin St. (Seminar Efal - Yad Tabenkin)
Ramat Efal 52960
Telephone: (972)03-5344284, Fax: (972)03-5350252, Email 


The Center was founded by three entities:

The "Hagana" Members' National Association - which unites the Hagana members: the military forces of the upcoming State which became the Israel Defense Forces during the War of Independence in 1948.

The Palmach Generation Association - uniting the Palmach members: the regular force of The Hagana.

Yad Tabenkin - A Research and Documentation Center of the United Kibbutz Movement.

These organizations established in 1985 the Center under the initiation and encouragement of the statesman Israel Galili, formerly Hagana commander. The Center was named in memory of Galili after his death in February 1986.
The Center's status was changed in 1998 to a public association.

The goals of the Association are to document, research, inform and teach a diversity of subjects in the field of Israel's defence from the early days of Zionist Settlements until the first years of the establishment of the State of Israel, with emphasis on the growth of the Defence Forces, their establishment and contribution to the Yishuv and the State of Israel.
The goal is to provide the public access to reliable detailed information on all aspects of the history of the defence of the State of Israel, and to initiate extensive educational activities in reference to these topics, both in the formal and institutional sphere of the educational system and among the youth and public in general.

The Association's Executive Committee Members:
Prof. Uzi Arad - Chairman.
Maj. Gen. (Res) Zeev Almog; Prof. Gideon Biger; Dr. Barak Ben-Zur;
Maj. Gen. (Res) Yeshayahu Gavish; Maj. Gen. (Res) Shlomo Gazit; 
Mr. Yeshayahu (Shaike) Daliyot; Maj. Gen. (Res) Raphael Vardi;
Lt. Col. (Res) Dr. Aharon Yaffe; Mr. Shlomo Sella; Dr. Aharon Roni Azaty;
Col. (Res) Ms. Ester Peretz; Dr. Dan Koren;
Brig. Gen. (Res) Uri Shilo; Ms. Riva Schneider-Tessler.

Mr. Shlomo Sela - Director of the Association.
Ms. Daniela Even - Secretary.

Academic Steering Committee:
Prof. Gideon Biger - Chairman.
Brig. Gen. (Res) Dr. Danny Asher; Dr. Nir Man; Mr. Shlomo Sella;
Dr. Dan Koren; Ms. Asnat Shiran.

Association Activities:


The Association has published a variety of over 100 books and works in Hebrew on the History of the Defence Forces. Among the publications are:
--An annual journal "Aley Zayit Vaherev", (meaning: Olive Leaves and Sword) - 12 volumes have been published to date.
--Booklets on operations and battles during the War of Independence have been published under the title "Atzmaut" (Independence - Towards a State) - 25 booklets have been published to date.
In addition study books have been published on the following topics:
--The Settlement Struggle 1936-1948;
--The Arms Struggle 1936-1948;
--The Illegal Immigration Struggle 1934-1948;
--The Political Struggle 1937-1945;
--From the "Shomer" to Israel Defence Forces - Study Kit;
--From Immigrant to Immigrant our Forces Grow ("MeOleh LeOleh Kohenu Oleh") - Study Kit;
--The Struggle over the Route to Jerusalem during the War of Independence - Study Kit and Video Tape;
--From the Mass Murder Scene to the Battlefield ? The Contribution of the Survivors to the Battle and Settlement during and after the War of Independence - Study Kit and Video Tape. 


The Association serves as a center for students, teachers, researchers and investigators from all over the country to conduct studies on the defence forces. In addition, upon requests from different institutes throughout the country the Association provides professional opinions on books and studies.
The guidance includes a review, recommendations for improvement, referral to additional references and more.
Currently about twenty researchers whose studies involve the Defence Forces are in constant contact with the Association. Several examples of these studies are: "Women and Gender in The Hagana", "Members of the Resistance in Prison and under Detention", "Mt. Scopus during the War of Independence".


1.  The Hagana Website. This website was established by The Hagana Members' National Association with help of The Association's people and their researches.

2.  The Palmach Museum Website. This site was established jointly with the Didactic Team for the Palmach Generation Association based on a database created by the Association.

3. Students' Studies on Israel's Security, a program initiated by Mr. Jack Mahfar from Geneva in memory of General David Elazar (Dado), Chief of Staff of the IDF 1972-1974, who died in 1976.  

As a result of the joint initiative of the Association's friends, Mr. Jack Mahfar (and thanks to his generous donation), Brig. Gen. (Res) Dr. Ephraim Sneh, Maj. Gen. (Res) Shlomo Gazit, Chairman of the Association, and in light of the 60th Anniversary of the State of Israel the project was established in order for school students to become better acquainted with the defence activities from the beginning of the settlement in Eretz Israel to date.
At the request of the Association the Didactic Team has undertaken the implementation of this project.

This program is designated for 9th and 10th graders and offers them experience in focusing their learning on a topic from the history of the struggle for defence of Israel, as chosen by the school under the guidance of a professional instructor from the Didactic Team and a Steering Committee from the Association. During this program students investigate the subject chosen by the school according to the instructions of their teachers by means of collecting information, analyzing primary sources, interviews, photographs, tapes etc.
At the end of the project the students will present their products: articles, presentations, internet sites, an evening community meeting, study tour, adoption and improvement of a site and more. A review team of the Association will select two schools in which the students superbly implemented the project to be awarded a grant bestowed at a public ceremony.

A proposal to implement the project was sent to many schools at the end of the project design phase. Those schools which joined the project began to implement the program during the second half of the 2007/2008 school year. At the end of that school year two schools were chosen as the exceptional schools.

That was the first year the project has been implemented and since then it continues. The Association's people hope this project will serve as a breakthrough in the awareness and personal involvement of students in studying, recognizing and comprehending the history of the struggle for defence of Israel.


4.  The Civilian Society in the War of Independence

The Association is cooperating with the Chaim Weizmann Institute for the Study of Zionism and Israel at Tel Aviv University and Yad Ben-Zvi on a comprehensive project on the home front during the War of Independence.
Professor Anita Shapira and Dr. Mordechai Bar-On are coordinating the project, which includes: encouraging studies on the diverse aspects of the subject and publishing the studies; surveying archives at settlements throughout the country to search for material on the subject and take interviews in order to gather personal testimony from people of that period. Today main emphasis is placed on encouraging research.
The first three volumes of these studies has been published.

The first volume published (in Hebrew) is entitled:
A Nation at War: A Collection of Studies on the Civilian Society during the War of Independence / Editors: Mordechai Bar-On, Meir Hazan, Jerusalem, 2006.
The second volume published (in Hebrew) is entitled:
Civilians at War: A Collection of Studies on the Civilian Society during the War of Independence / Editors: Mordechai Bar-On, Meir Hazan, Jerusalem, 2010.
The third volume published (in Hebrew) is entitled:
Politics at War: A Collection of Studies on the Civilian Society during the War of Independence / Editors: Mordechai Bar-On, Meir Hazan, Jerusalem, 2014.


5.  A Map of the Battles during the War of Independence of the State of Israel, 1947/1948.

See here: (in the site:


6.  Database - The Connection between the Settlements and the Defence Forces

The Association, in coordination with The Hagana Archives and the Yad Tabenkin Archives, has decided to establish a database on the subject of the village settlements in Eretz Israel and The Hagana. This database will include data collected from Kibbutz, Moshav and Moshava archives from all around Israel, thereby providing researchers information on the development of the defence forces in the village settlements from the beginning of the settlements in Eretz Israel.
Until now archive volunteers have scanned material collected from several settlements and the data has been computerized.


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רחוב יסמין 1 (סמינר אפעל – יד טבנקין) רמת אפעל 52960 טלפון: 03-5344284 פקס: 03-5350252   ליחצו ליצירת קשר