Hundreds of new recruits from many "hesder" yeshivas across Israel came to the base of reception and selection ("bakum" in Hebrew) at Tel Hashomer, accompanied by their relatives.

The new recruits filled the recruiting square, singing and dancing in circles spontaneously.

Almost 400 hesder yeshiva students recruited to the elite forces in the Israeli army: Golani, Givati, Nachal, Kfir, Handasa, the Paratroopers Brigade and the Armored Forces.

The hesder yeshivas which led the pilot recruit program include Yeshivat Ma'alot, with 40 new recruits; Yeshivat Hagolan and Yerucham, with 30 new recruits each; and many more hesder yeshivas from all over Israel.

Among the new hesder yeshiva recruits is a group of students from the hesder yeshiva "Lev HaTorah" in Beit Shemesh, who made aliya (immigrated to Israel) from North America, combining Torah learning with significant service in the Israeli army. All four of these young men came to the recruiting base with their parents, who also made aliya after being inspired by their sons.

Among the excited relatives of the new recruits were the parents of soldier Drew Samuelson, who enlisted in the Golani Brigade. His parents, Scott and Pammy, immigrated to Israel from Ohio prior to the enlistment of their son and found a home and supportive community in Zikhron Ya'akov.

The excited parents shared their feelings about the recruitment of their eldest son: "We came to Israel last August, and Drew has of course had a great influence on our decision, and he is without a doubt an excellent salesman. This special day is accompanied by some concerns alongside great excitement and pride. The base is close to our home and that’s good and reassuring a bit."

"We do cry, but these are tears of happiness, excitement, spirituality, and joy," they added.

Uri Pinsky, Head of the Hesder Yeshivot Union, noted with excitement: "We are proud to operate a particularly large recruitment of about 400 soldiers who enlisted together, and [who] join the entire March recruitment process, which is traditionally the largest recruitment of hesder yeshivot."

"We are in challenging and not simple times in terms of security and spiritual matters. As the union of hesder yeshivot, we do and will continue to do everything possible so that the recruitment goes smoothly and efficiently. We wish that the new soldiers succeed in their sacred mission and may God bless them and protect them and bring them home safely to their loving and supporting families."