Hats Off



Below are excerpts from some of the letters we’ve received from our volunteers

about our Sar-El madrichot/madrichim.

Please feel free to send your comments to our Program Coordinator

Miri sharon at: sharon@sar-el.org, or to our




Dear Carmel…

The sun has gone down, and it is time to tell you all a story.

Once upon a time…there was a little girl with dark curly hair, big brown eyes, a joyful spirit, and a smile that could light up the world.

She seemed always to be happy, she loved her family dearly, she adored music and loved Israel deeply.

She could not wait to grow up and wear fancy dresses and high heels…but most of all she could not wait to become part of the IDF and serve her beloved country.

And then one day her wish came true. The mail arrived and with it came her Draft Papers. She jumped for joy and in that moment her journey began.

Her dream was to join a combat unit, but in the end decided on a different path because of her mother and father…she was the youngest of their children and they wanted her out of “harms way” as much as possible.

That little girl is now all grown up and her journey has brought her to us. She has become an extraordinary, professional, smart, passionate and FUN young woman.

She is our Madricha and her name is Carmel…dear Carmel! It is our honor to have her lead us on our journey as Volunteers for Israel with Sar-El.

The story continues…

Here are some of the qualities we admire and love about you, Carmel:

C      Compassionate, Caring, Cheerful, Creative, Charismatic, Competent, Capable, “Can-Do” spirit

A    Awesome, Aware, Attitude (positive), Adaptable

R    Resourceful, Reliable, Rare (Unique), Respected

M   Motivated, Mature, Musical, Much Loved/Respected

E          Excited, Expressive, Embracing, Engaging, Efficient, an Educator, Extraordinary

L     Leader, Loyal, Level-headed, Listener, Loved

We began tonight with a story about a little girl. We have another story about a young woman who reminds us of you, Carmel, in so many ways.

Once upon a time…

Dear Carmel—Each and every day you touch people’s lives here in the IDF, with your family, your music, and with all of us. 

Thank you for Making a Difference in our lives.

Thank you for Making a Difference “one person at a time.”

We are your #1 fans. Because of your “spirit” and passion, you will be able to accomplish anything and everything you set your mind to in life. Because of the person that you are, you have made these last two weeks meaningful, joyful, and filled with love and gratitude for each of us.

You told us everyday “I Love You!” Tonight we say to you “We Love You MORE!”

IDF Base

October 2018



This was the best Sar-el programme to date for me.
The group was fantastic. We were 5 women living in very cramped conditions, eating together, working together. No problem. Lots of laughter.
(The men were all great too.)

There was sufficient work, and we were able to see the fruits of our labour.

The madrichot, Vera & Moria, were exceptional, helping us with all that we needed.



[To Sar-El Madrichot]  Karin and Kayla, 

I am still trying to get back into my normal schedule but I wanted to stop and thank you so much for the wonderful care you gave to us.

You [both] did all to make us comfortable and made sure we had everything that we needed.  Not just the outward things but also by your sweet personalities it meant so much to us. The nightly programs were so enjoyable and I learned so much …I know you both worked  hard to do it.

I will always remember how you both walked out  in the really hot sun that day and lost out on some of your lunchtime to see me off in the cab. It was hard to say goodbye but I wanted to thank you for all you did.Although I may never see you again you will forever be in my memory.

My admiration for the IDF truly soared! Wishing you life’s very finest !!




[To Sar-El Madricha] Adina,

I just saw on the SAR EL website that you have been released from active duty. I know that you are relieved to return to private life to advance your career goals. I wish you the greatest success in your future, but you will be terribly missed by those of us who have come to know you and admire you. 

I really can’t explain what makes you so special, but I am sure it comes from deep within your good heart. You are just a profoundly nice and good person, and that is so rare. I am sure you have been asked to keep in touch with many SAR-ELniks; please add my name to that list and please put me at the top! 

Johnny Cahn


I joined the program from December 22 to January 9. I just wanted to say thank you. I really can’t say those two words enough times to you, for your very very valuable work, for your patience, for your efforts and everything you put on this… it’s incredible.

Just THANK YOU.I had a great three weeks in your land. This was my second visit (and second SAR-EL), and I hope there will be many, many more.

The team I was in was very good, with hard-working people and that was excellent because the base did require hard work.I also have to say this: Elizabeth and Malkaya (our madrichot) did a flawless work. They were incredibly nice and open with us, and did a good job.So….. hats off.
I hope to see you soon again.




I wanted to let you know about our Madricha Suzie.I can`t speak highly enough of her.Suzie worked hard on our behalf
 and is an extremely likeable and people orientated person.

Our activities in the evenings were good fun but she also created a very emotional evening  for us in the context of people who had given the ultimate sacrifice for  Israel and of course we as Jews who can enjoy our freedoms in other  countries knowing that our Homeland is there for us because of the  dedication and sacrifice of the people of Israel of yesteryear and today. 

Suzie is a born Leader also by Chutzpa and organisation.  Kol Hakavod! 




I wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed our Madrichot, Adina and Elizabeth; they were super dedicated and super understanding–what great ambassadors for Israel and the Sar El program!

Johnny  C.



Each time I am at Sar El with two madrichot, it is normal that there is a difference between them. This time, and for the first time, I could not see any difference between both of you. Both of you were simply perfect.

Looking after us like a cat after her kittens. Those few days have been a real pleasure and I hope to see you again next time.

Tel Aviv / Belgium


Adina is a precious jewel as both a person and a professional. As a person, her values, sensibilities and sense of humor shine through in a positive and warm way. She displays genuine affection for those in her charge and is always there to lend an ear or just be a companion. I was privileged to ride the bus with her from Tel-Aviv to Ranana on that first

Thursday and then return from Karne Shomron to Tel-Aviv on Sunday and she was wonderful company. I am so lucky that I got to know this special young woman better as she guided me back to base.

As a professional she is first rate. Despite being so young, she capably “commanded” our group with reserved authority and by setting such an amazing example. It is a tribute to her that us older workers came to respect her so quickly for her role as our leader and mentor. During working hours, she rolled up her sleeves and worked in both the warehouse and the kitchen. And a couple of times each day she checked on everybody to make sure everything was fine. She also brought us fruit and drinks on a regular schedule. Knowing that Adina was looking out for us made it easier to concentrate on work, and we were all there to work.

Adina also ran very impressive evening sessions that helped us get to know each other first and then educated us about the IDF, Israeli society and culture. Her activities were always well planned and extremely well presented, got everyone involved and were great fun. I had asked her if she could spend some on an evening or so providing us with useful Hebrew words and phrases. She responded with a wonderful program that obviously took a lot of time and effort to concoct. And it proved and will prove incredibly useful in the future.

All of us marveled at the fact that she was able to both prepare programs for us each day and lend a capable hand as we worked. And, of course, she was the perfect intermediary between us and the supervising staff when we worked.

Adina also took care of us. She made sure there were plates and utensils for us at meals, got us extra things from the kitchen when she could and made sure everyone’s morale was as high as possible.

I hope Sar-el and the IDF realize what a special person they have on staff.

Harry W.


Shalom, Noam!

I’ve been thinking about you and how wonderful you were at making all of us volunteers comfortable during our stay. In retrospect, your job is lots harder than it looks on paper…. getting all the spoiled older folks to all work together and overcome or ignore their petty idiosyncrasies (means peculiar ideas and habits).

Thanks again for doing such a wonderful job for us AND for Israel. Stay safe.


Richard Aronow


I just returned from a week at a [Sar-El base in the south.] It was a wonderful experience and I will recommend the Sar-El program to one and all. But I want to especially complement and thank our two madrichot: Amit and Jessica. These two young ladies made our group work cohesively and with a great deal of humor. They are to be complemented for everything they did. I can’t imagine anyone doing any better than they did. I can’t imagine that their training for their jobs could have taught them what we experienced. They were so natural and sweet and full of humor that it just made our group come together.





Kol hakavod to Michelle and Sharon.

These women are amazingly mature, with beautiful hearts.

And their first concern was always the volunteers. They made the experience unmatched in my lifetime.

Mark Joseph



I have just completed a Sar-El program in Beer Sheva with Madricha Michelle Harel.

I am writing to you to sing her praises.

With my experience as a teacher for many years, I am so very impressed with Michelle’s maturity of composure and her skills at handling people so well. She is well informed and has a sense of leadership capacity that was evident in every situation and activity during our program.

Michelle’s knowledge of Israel along with her strong communication skills were so impressive. She is my fondest and finest memory of my Israel Sar-El experience.

It is my pleasure to share my thoughts about Michelle with you.

Cheryl Berlowitz-Caruso


Just a note to say how great my two weeks were at our base. The madrihot were outstanding. Tehillah and Noam prepared great programs. They anticipated our needs and always had a smile. They are smart and wonderful to be with. The entire group worked beautifully together. I was sorry I could not stay another week. The managers of our shops made us feel appreciated. I am looking forward to my next trip.

Chag Sameach and best wishes,

Regina Lerman


I had a wonderful experience. Our Madrichot, Noam and Tehila were just great.



My madricha, Tal Lantner, was invaluable to me in my considering a return trip to Israel. So dedicated, sincere and professional!

[A] Friend of Israel …

Doug Cruickshank


I had an amazing week at [our base] . Shani was one of the best madrichot I have had the pleasure of meeting. She deserves her promotion and that can only help future madrichot. She sets the standard for all Sar El represents.

Harvey Rand


The Sar-El experience was one of the most exciting of my life. The base was the best that could be, the work was hard but it was great. Thank you also to the Madichot: Roni, Esti & Rebecca.

Thank you again!!!!!!

Javier Munoz


Without the Sar-El madrichot I wouldn’t be where I am. They were the ones that encouraged me and helped along the way. They are the ones that have stood by me during the tough times and congratulated me on my achievements. I have lasting friendships with each and every one of the madrichot that I have met, and continue to talk and meet with them on a regular basis. My times at Sar-El were amazing and the friendships that I created were everlasting.

I thank you and the group of madrichot for giving me a foundation of friendship when I first came here. It has been a great thing to have.

Roxanne Fogelman – [former Sar-El participant who made aliyah and is now serving in the army.]


To my madrichot Hadas and Einat, thank you both so much for being the wonderful women and madrichot that you are. I thoroughly enjoyed my Sar-El experience and look forward to another Sar-El program in my future. You both contributed so much to making the three week program at Batzap quite special and enjoyable.

Bill Gordon


The madrichot, Lior & Abigail, were totally in charge, set the highest standards, and operated with

wisdom well beyond their years.

Steve Plotkin


Well, first time on Sar-El and we could not have had a better team than Nachshon and Leron.

They could not do enough for us and were helpful in every way. They were fun, informative, young and eager, probably exasperated by our group, but they charmed us and took care of us above and beyond the call.

I cannot say enough about how good my first trip was (I’ll be back) and I am certain that the friendship and caring of our madrichot/madrichim was THE biggest influence on my awesome time in Sept/Oct 2009.

Joan Hart


I want to let you know what a great time I had with Sar-El in May. It was really an honor to be able to volunteer in Israel and work with so many exceptional people.

Our Madrichot were excellent. Gavriella and Daphne are really amazing and super helpful. The evening sessions that Gavriella put together were educational, interesting, and fun. It was especially nice to meet her parents. It was inspiring to see someone so young have so much maturity, leadership, dedication, and love for Israel.

Mike Ickow


I wanted to let you know that my experience with Sar-El and at the base, was awesome. When I thought of writing to you I thought of two things: to say “thank you” and tell you that I had a great – and I believe very productive time at the base. . . and that Kira Sacks did an absolutely super job, which made the experience all the much better. I couldn’t imagine anyone performing that function any better than Kira did. . . She is an exceptional person and I think the world of her!

Richard David


I was just on the program in June and had a wonderful time. Our Madricha, Kira, was super and made the experience outstanding. Everything was great!

Henri Rauch


I have recently returned from yet another great time with Sar-El. I was assigned most working days, along with a volunteer from New Zealand, to the various warehouses in the Negev.

The Madrichot and Madrich, Noofar, Hadas and Josh, led us most ably and displayed a maturity and leadership skills beyond their young age. Their organizational skills were put to good use in assigning each of the volunteers our various work stations and in preparing the evening and day-trip activities.

As a Gentile, it is a privilege to be able to help the IDF and the Jewish people once again.

Alan Cosford



The Madrichot who helped organize us were a credit to the army. I think Techiya, Nufi and Sheila were just great and provided a good program for us. I hope they keep in touch and if they ever visit New Zealand I’d be glad to show them about!

David Bebarfald

New Zealand


In all my trips to volunteer for Sar-El I have had many excellent madrichot, but Gavriella Biglo was the best I have ever had the honor of working with. She was so committed to her job, making sure we were okay and her programs were top notch.

She gave it her all and more, believe me it showed. Her love for Israel, Judaism, and her complete belief that being in the Army was part of her duty for her country and was most important to her really showed. She is the best ambassador you have and the madricha is just that. She makes the difference on whether you return again for Sar-El. Sar-El is very fortunate to have someone like her to represent the program and Israel. I can honestly say she made my trip here the best ever.

Jim Sloan


It was MY honor to come and to be a part of Sar-El at this time. At (our base) the best part was meeting the wonderful kids from Golani and listening to their stories about the operation.

I know that everyone in my group felt the honor of being with them.

Again Kol haKavod to Shachar, Julia and the other madrichot.

Larry Waxman

Martinez, GA

HTMLine - בניית אתרים