When you have an important decision to make, it’s important to be well informed. Now, making aliyah is probably going to be the most difficult and important decision of my life. Therefore, I feel like I should probably be as well informed as I can be.
This past Sunday, my mother and I went to the Think Israel event in the Federation UJA building in Manhattan. They had booths for many different organizations and groups all geared toward assisting people with their aliyah process. While I was there, I spoke to people from some of the organizations to try and find the one that best fit me. That program turned out to be the Tzofim Garin Tzabar program, which takes a group of “crazy” young adults (like me!!!!) and helps them go through the aliyah process as a group. This group of young’uns make aliyah together, they go to kibbutz together, they attend an ulpan program (Hebrew crash course) together, and after 3 months on kibbutz they get their Tzav Rishon (first draft to the army).
When I join the army, I will be considered a Chayal Boded – a lone soldier: someone with no immediate family in Israel who volunteers to join Tzahal. At the Think Israel event, there was a presentation given by Adina Bennett, Nefesh B’Nefesh, Lieutenant Colonel Yossi Matzliach, Israeli Defense Force, and Einav Zamir, Director of the Tzofim Garin Tzabar program. They each explained the various functions that their respective departments served , what we can expect as olim, the various benefits a Chayal Boded receives, and how the entire process works. Aliyah for dummies. Who knew?!
Mrs. Bennett repeatedly pointed out the fact that the Lone Soldier program needs a new name, because Israel’s soldiers are never alone. I want to add to that. Not only are there many people ready, able, and willing to help the chayalim along the way, there is also the Almighty guarding and protecting those that protect His people from harm.