If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to conduct a car escape or survive in the wilderness, Momo Lifshitz has the program for you.
Lifshitz, a former Birthright trip organizer, likes to claim that Israel is the right destination for almost any kind of trip. Now he wants to sell the country’s army-level training through Magen Zion, or Zion’s Shield, a self-defense program that incorporates wilderness survival training, weapons training and Krav Maga, Israel’s military self-defense system.
He’s working with Xpert Security, an Israeli security and counterterrorism school that trains people all over the world — private individuals, security workers, special forces — as well as the IDF’s special units. Its founder is Idan Pundak, an army commander who established the IDF’s Duvdevan Unit, a counterterrorism special forces unit.
“It’s part of our expertise, unfortunately,” Pundak said. “But we’re sharing it.”
Israelis shouldn’t worry about the training being passed on to the wrong people, though.
“We’re not giving away any secrets,” Lifshitz said. “We’re not giving any spying abilities; it’s not about espionage.”
Magen Zion is about self-esteem and having an attitude that helps participants avoid violent situations in the first place.
Lifshitz said his goal is that girls attacked on the street, or young men jumped in a mugging, will be able to protect themselves with Israeli army-level training.
“My lessons are making young women walk safer in the streets,” Lifshitz claimed. “They’re making Jews more comfortable with facing anti-Semitism.”
Run through Lirom Global Education — Lifshitz’s company — Magen Zion programs are also available to college students and private groups or individuals. Participants older than 18 can learn defensive driving, ranging from driving on ice to using a car to escape. But anyone can participate.
Magen Zion falls under the umbrella of Lifshitz’s Israel4Teens, a summer program that allows students to tour Israel and choose from four educational programs: entrepreneurship and innovation; fashion and styling; Hebrew language and volunteering; and self-defense training through Magen Zion. The programs last for three weeks, half of which is spent on the educational offerings.