The Or Etzion Hesder Yeshiva is one of the oldest and most prominent Religious-Zionist Yeshivas in Israel.
The Yeshiva was founded – and is still headed – by Rabbi Chaim Druckman in 1977, in addition to the Yeshiva Tichonit which was established 17 years earlier.
Later, a military boarding school was established as well.
The Yeshiva is named after the victims of the struggle for the protection of the Gush Etzion settlements during the War of Independence.
Rabbi Druckman, one of the leading rabbis of our generation, was born in 1932 in Poland. He survived the Holocaust miraculously and came to Israel completely alone in 1944. He continued his studies at Yeshivat Kfar Haroeh, and then at the Merkaz Harav Yeshiva, where he became a very close pupil of Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, and in many ways is seen as his successor. He was even a Bnei Akiva shaliach in the United States.
Rabbi Druckman was one of the architects of the Hesder Yeshiva concept – namely, the combination of army service and Torah study. He was also one of the founders of the Kerem BeYavne Yeshiva.
He served as a Knesset member and Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs for the National Religious Party. Among his many important functions, he served for 8 years as the head of the Giyur committee in the Prime Minister’s office where he tried to advance a policy to ease as much as possible the conversion process whilst keeping an absolute commitment to Halacha.
4 years ago Rav Drukman received the prestigious Israel award for lifetime achievement.
Many alumni of the Yeshiva hold leadership positions across the country – rabbis, heads of institutions, artists, politicians and more