The IDF held an event Monday night to honor its foreign volunteers. Thousands of foreign citizens volunteer with the IDF each year through the Sar-El program.
Senior military officers, including Technical and Logistics Directorate head General Kobi Barak and Chief Logistics Officer Brigadier-General Mofid Ghanem, attended the event, as did Sar-El director Brigadier-General (res.) Tzvi Shor.
Since the Yom Kippur war in the early 1970s, more than 160,000 people have volunteered through various IDF programs.
Sar-El began in the early 1980s, at a point when Israel faced massive crop losses in the Golan region due to the fact that most able-bodied men had been called up to fight. Hundreds of United States volunteers came to help, sparking the idea of a long-term volunteer project.
Along with the roughly 4,000 overseas volunteers per year who come to Israel through Sar-El, there are roughly 7,000 pensioners who volunteer at various IDF bases.
“The volunteer network is inspirational,” General Kobi Barak told those present. “Your work is a symbol of excellence, of human greatness, and of the desire to give from the heart.”
“When I tour IDF bases I meet you working to repair medical equipment, package combat rations… and doing many other important things,” he related.
Ghanem said, “Your contribution to the logistics system is extremely important both to moral, to the wonderful productivity, and to the tremendous savings to the IDF. We all appreciate this contribution very much. I welcome you and salute you… Continue your work, and bring others along with you.”