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VOLUNTEERS WANTED TO BE CIVILIAN WORKERS FOR 2-3 WEEKS ON AN ISRAELI ARMY SUPPLY BASE- CONTACT SAREL

by Wendy Schneider, the editor of the Hamilton Jewish News, posted November 19, 2014


 

Note from Editor of Winnipeg Jewish Review:

[IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO VOLUNTEER AS
A CIVILIAN WORKER FOR 2-3 WEEKS ON AN ISRAELI ARMY SUPPLY BASE, CONTACT SAREL CANADA. Free accommodation, kosher meals, trips, events. Cost: airfare, $100.00 registration, weekend expenses. www.sarelcanada.org

 

ph: 416-781-6089 or toronto@sarelcanada.org

ph:514-735-0272 or montreal@sarelcanada.org

 

 

VOLUNTEERING ON SAREL IS A GREAT EXPERIENCE

 by Wendy Shneider, editor of Hamilton Jewish News

 

At 12 Sar-El trips and counting, Gord Garshowitz is more typical then one might think: Of the 4,000 people from 30 countries around the world who sign up with the organization every year, more than 60 per cent, like Garshowitz, are repeat volunteers.   As a member of the board of Sar-El Canada, the retired teacher’s responsibilities include conducting screening interviews with local applicants,  so he is very well-acquainted with the community members who gathered at the home of Ralph and Bev Orman in late April to talk about their recent Sar-El experiences. Joining them were Larry Cohen and Sharon Levy, Flora and Allan Rams, Doreen Korman and Karen Beer.  

 

 

 

Summer camp for adults. That was the general consensus on how best to describe the Sar-El experience, with its communal living, communal showers, bad food, absence of technology but with plenty of cameraderie and feeling the love from a  specially-assigned counselor  whose only concern was to look after your every need.   The fact that days are spent counting inventory, checking bullets or scraping  adhesive tape off antennae with an exacto knife rather than swimming, water-skiing or  tennis lessons seems like a minor detail.

 

 

 

Couples who sign up for Sar-El are assigned to  separate barracks,  but that only made it more fun for Ralph and Bev Orman, for whom the highlight of the trip was getting to know their bunkmates, who hailed from Australia, Germany, the U.S. and Canada.  “The average age in my bunk was about 80,” said Ralph Orman, who recalls waking up every morning looking forward to having fun with “an amazing group of guys.”

 

 

 

“The group experience was marvelous,” said Karen Beer, but so too were meeting and talking with “all these beautiful soldiers.”

 

 

 

“They were gracious, respectful and appreciative. It was a huge thrill to be amongst them,” she said.

 

 

 

Flora Rams and Sharon Levy were both enamoured with the young IDF soldier assigned to look after them.   “She made the trip,” said Rams, “and even though we were like her parents, she felt like one of us.”  

 

 

 

This was Doreen Korman’s first time in Israel.  “It was on my bucket list,” she said, and volunteering with Sar-El was a great way to experience the country “from the inside out.”

 

 

 

 

One aspect of Israeli army life that left a deep impression on participants was how the IDF appears to accommodate recruits of all abilities and circumstances. Larry Cohen said he was both “surprised and impressed” to see developmentally delayed recruits working together at specifically-assigned tasks. 

 

 

 

 

If reading this makes you want to book your next flight to Israel with Sar-El, the Hamilton participants advise visiting the Sar-El website for a complete picture of what to expect. Sar-El, they caution, is no five-star experience.   But  for those looking for a meaningful way to experience Israel beyond what any tourist can expect to see, than Sar-El might be just what you’re looking for.

 

Reprinted with permission.

 
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