The Armored Vehicle - Monument Commemorating the Evacuation of the Kibbutz’s Children
On the eve of the battle at Yad Mordechai, the kibbutz’s population stood at 150 members and 100 children under the age of eight. At the last moment, facing the threat of battle, it was decided to evacuate the children. Under the cover of darkness, a Palmach company commanded by Gershon Dovenboim (Dabambam) evacuated the children of the kibbutz via winding dirt roads to Kibbutz Ruhama, which was located out of the line of fire. As a result of the operation, which later came to be known as “Mivtza Tinok” (Operation Baby), all the children of Yad Mordechai survived.
On the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the kibbutz, the same children, now adults with families of their own, decided to erect a monument to tell the story of their rescue and to honor the memory of the operation’s commander, who was killed several months later in fighting in Beer Sheva.
The monument consists of a full-size model of the type of armored vehicle that was used to evacuate the children, with a plaque bearing the names of all the children and the caregivers who accompanied them. Beside the armored vehicle are signs providing information about the night of the evacuation as well as a memorial stone for Gershon Dovenboim, bearing his picture and the story of his life.