From the USA to the IDF

Fifty-five new immigrants from US and Canada will start their new lives “at home” by enlisting in the IDF.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu,

Israel news photo: (file)

Fifty-five new immigrants (olim) scheduled to land at Ben Gurion International Airport on Tuesday morning with 183 other olim will don army uniforms soon afterwards. Instead of worrying about learning how the bus system works, how to shop and how the health system works, the young men and women will be fighting for the country.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will join Nefesh B’Nefesh founders Rabbi Yehoshua Fass and Tony Gelbart to greet the newcomers on NBN’s second aliyah flight of the summer. NBN has brought thousands of Jews to Israel over the past several years and now works with the Jewish Agency to promote aliyah to the Jewish State.

The soon-to-be soldiers have enrolled in a program dubbed Garin Tzabar, named after the Hebrew word that describes native Israelis, and several of the new olim are children of former Israelis. NBN noted that the number of olim, as well as those wanting to directly start out their new lives by serving in the army, has been growing significantly the past two years.

Eighteen-year-old Sophie Lee, from New Rochelle, New York, is planning to make Aliyah to Kibbutz Yizrael, but can’t wait to start serving in the IDF. She spent a summer on the "Chetz Va’keshet" Israeli army program and another summer working for the IDF Spokesperson's Office. She hopes to get a degree in International Relations and work for the government after serving in the army.

Myia Shoshan, from Fairfield, Connecticut, is only 17. After excelling in her studies, she turned down a full scholarship to college in order to move to Israel and serve in the IDF.

Chicago native Avichai Mitchell, 19, explained he is moving to Israel because “this is home, where Jewish people belong.” He added, “I also want to serve my country and help protect it.” One of those who will be on hand to greet him Tuesday morning is the young woman to whom he is engaged.