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      New Immigrants’ Motivation Bolsters IDF

      Enthusiasm and motivation of new immigrants serving in the Israeli military prompts the IDF to appoint a “Coordinator for New Immigrants.”
      By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
      First Publish: 7/27/2011, 9:02 AM

      New immigrants in IDF uniform
      New immigrants in IDF uniform
      IDF photo

      Enthusiasm and motivation of new immigrants serving in the Israeli military prompts the IDF to appoint a “Coordinator for New Immigrants.”

      The military’s latest figures show that 20 percent of the army is made up of immigrants, many of them who moved to Israel with their families in their teens. Others, such as the "Tzabar" immigrants from the United States, made the IDF their first home in Israel by enlisting on arrival.

      Immigrant’s questions and challenges in a new culture led to the new position of coordinator, now held by Private Maya Liss.

      “We help the new immigrants and answer any questions they have,” she explains. “They come from a different culture and when they come to enlist many don't even know where to begin and barely speak Hebrew."

      Common issues include benefits for new immigrants, different positions in the army and the enlistment process in general.

      "People come here from all over the world just to enlist" says Liss, adding that “many are much older than the average soldier and bursting with passion and motivation. They maintain a strong connection with Israel from miles and miles away."

      She says that the Recruitment Office Commander and Benji Davis, the previous Coordinator for New Immigrants, noticed the problem approximately nine months ago and decided to create the position.

      "I truly believe in this project and love being able to help people every day,” Liss concludes.

      August 30th is the largest draft date for new immigrants, who then continue to the Michve Alon Base, which belongs to the Education Corps and helps new immigrants become accustomed to Israeli culture, learn about Israeli history, and master the Hebrew language.