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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Garin Tzabar’

Garin Tzabar: Helping Lone Soldiers Feel At Home In Israel

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

These lone soldiers, hailing from countries including the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Turkey and Azerbaijan arrived in Israel without their families to join the Israel Defense Force and help build the Jewish nation.  ’Garin’ means seed in Hebrew but can also refer to a group of people who collectively immigrated to Israel and ‘tzabar’ refers to the ‘sabra’ cactus fruit which is prickly on the outside but soft and sweet on the inside, a euphemism to describe Israelis.

The Garin Tzabar program is in charge of bringing these lone soldiers to a kibbutz or Israeli city, providing them with an adopted family, a Garin community that supports them throughout their army service and Hebrew classes to assist their immersion into the IDF.  Several months from now the new recruits will begin to serve in the Israeli Army.  The Garin Tzabar  ensures lone soldiers receive support and attention on their birthdays, during holidays, Shabbat, and their days off .

The State of Israel officially welcomed this year’s Garin Tzabar participants during a special ceremony held at Tel Aviv University. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  gave a video greeting praising these young Jewish men and women and  numerous other government officials attended the event.

MK Sofa Landver, who addressed the group, stated, “We are here to receive the immigrants and the soldiers in our country, the most wonderful country in the world. It’s you who have come to serve and defend Israel. You will change the world.” A representative of Nefesh B’Nefesh added, “It’s not just a plane ride, it’s the destination and that’s Israel. Enjoy your new life.”

Netta Gelb, a new Garin Tzabar participant, was born in the Israeli city of Netanya and has spent the past 15 years growing up in Canada. Although she has Israeli relatives,  she is leaving behind her parents and siblings.  Gelb expressed the excitement many Garin members felt when she said, “I have been really looking forward to this for a long time.”

Michael Kosky, another Garin Tzabar participant, added, “We have come here to play our chapter in Jewish history. I am part of this program. Good luck to every one here.”  A lone soldier already serving in the IDF named Ariella, who hails from an Argentine family and grew up in both America and Israel told the audience that she holds dear the “values of loyalty to the state, its people, and the Tzabar members” and said to the new recruits “If you live together, you will learn a lot.”

Eitan Press contributed to this report.

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Five Pairs of Brothers and Sisters Make Aliyah and Enlist in the Army Together

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Every year, young soldiers from overseas are enlisted into the Israeli Defense Forces through the Garin Tzabar program. The distance from their families and friends combined with the acclimation to their new country makes their service especially challenging. This year, however, at least for five pairs of brothers from the United States and Australia, the experience should be somewhat less difficult.

This year’s group, numbering 300 young people, is the biggest since the project began in 1991. In addition, for the first time, it includes ten young people that will be spending their stint in service with a brother or a sister.

Jack and Ariela from Chicago have an older brother that already made aliyah and served in the IDF as a lone soldier. They’re now fulfilling a dream by following in his footsteps.

Twins, Effy and Hezi from Sydney grew up in a strong pro-Israel home. Their parents are now planning to join them in Israel.

Udi Shani, Director of the Defense Ministry, met two members of the group on Sunday night and told them: “I bless you upon your decision to come to Israel and be inducted into the IDF, to experience for yourselves the lives of Israeli citizens and to contribute to Israel’s security and success, as well as to act as pioneers for your families.”

Garin Tzabar is a program that assists Jewish and Israeli youth who have been living out of the country for many years, mostly from North America, and who are interested in making aliyah and serving in the IDF. The program begins with activities of the Tzofim (Israeli Scouts) movement in their countries. When these young people arrive in Israel, they are placed in an adoptive kibbutz, taught Hebrew, taken on tours of the country and ultimately are inducted into the IDF.

More than 70 percent of the participants in this program remain living in Israel after their military service, and close to percent of their families generally follow them and move to Israel.

CLARIFICATION: This article stated erroneously that Twins Effy and Hezi from Sydney are not Jewish. We apologize for the mistake. We received an email from their family that they are indeed—and have always been—Jewish. We hope that this correction will rectify our error.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/five-pairs-of-brothers-and-sisters-make-aliyah-and-enlist-in-the-army-together/2012/09/25/

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