Blog

Alicia C.

My experience at Sar El was outstanding.I really felt needed and met great people from all over the world.Each of us had something to share .Each one from a different background,different countries,different religions,different personal own worlds.

Read More >>

Mitch

I want to tell you that I had the most fabulous experience of my life at [Sar-El]. They told us that we saved the Army over 165,000 shekels ($45,000) [with] all of our free labor.

Read More >>

Jerry F.  

This experience [with Sar-El] was unlike anything I could dream or imagine: I worked with the Israel Defense Forces about ten miles south of Tel Aviv.  We worked in warehouses packing, folding, wrapping, and counting field gear, alongside soldiers. We ate, worked, and slept on the base…  I issue you the challenge to give of your time and talents to Sar El and the IDF!       

Read More >>

Alyson  

It is with deep gratitude that I write to thank you for opportunity to have served as a volunteer in Sar El from July 19-24th of this year. From the moment I met you and the group at the airport and saw your organization and passion, to being placed in the excellent care of the madrichot Ellen and Simcha, and having completed meaningful work at the army base- the experience was incredible. I feel a deep sense of pride and accomplishment in being helpful to the IDF and to Israel and I have made wonderful friends as a result. 

Read More >>

Ellen

OMG how great were those 3 weeks – non can compare – our wonderful group of 15, Lea with her enthusiasm and true love of her adopted country and the incredible experience of going to those border bases and meeting those brave, beautiful souls.

Read More >>

Sylvia and Jack Bordan

We are long-time Sar-El volunteers – regularly since 1989.  That’s a lotof IDF base experience under our belts.We read the website letters with a mix of envy, and nostalgia.  Our age now limits on-base activity to less active tasks but nostalgia will have to do.

Read More >>

Fabrizio, Italy

I spent three fantastic weeks in Zahal, with a wonderful group! I was the only Italian, but it was like feeling at home. Sometimes the work was very hard and, as they told us, we were not in a hotel. But just for these reasons my experience was greater.

Read More >>

Mark

I wanted to let you know that I had an incredible experience with the [Sar-El] group… The soldiers on the base were very welcoming…and I will never forget my experience. It has made a lasting impression on my life and I have a much deeper bond with Israel and her people. The other members of my volunteer group were great as well and I have formed lasting connections with them also.

Read More >>

Yegal 

What is so different about Zahal ?Normally we think of faceless soldiers, Based in nameless bases,Conducting practice maneuvers,And fighting for undefined fuzzy issues.But, who makes up the Zahal Army ??

Read More >>

Yegal

Well…this group has gotten as tight as can be. Tighter than sardines in a can.Tighter than those two soldiers hugging in the background. Jacqui and Susan are best friends. They are organizing a get together in Philly for Bob, Glenn, David Finger, Ed & friends.

Read More >>

Joel 

Greetings from Brazil!It has been a few great months after I have returned home…, but I can honestly say that I have not been the same after I have participated on Sar-El. Serving the soldiers and Israel gave me am immense sense of responsibility to share with everybody the truth and beauty about Israel.

Read More >>

Kristian 

 I have successfully returned home to Bulgaria. I am writing to say A BIG THANK YOU to you, the madrichot and everybody at Sar-El. 

Read More >>

Aron K.

Just a little note of appreciation and thanks.I’m not sure how much of an impact my contribution had on the Sar-El program and the IDF.But what I am sure of is, the enormous positive influence Sar-El had on me as an individual.

Read More >>

Mark B.

I volunteered on the IDF Medical Supplies Center during my time on Sar-El.  My experience there gave me a deeper appreciation of Israel and Israeli society.  It was on Sar-El where I met volunteers from all over the world who came to the country and give their time and energy to serve Israel, and I realized how many people care about Israel. 

Read More >>

Corey

I did a five week program. I was at three different bases and had a great time at each one. Living conditions were a little rough a couple of times but no problem, we were there to help!  

Read More >>

Arto

[The] hospitality was perfect!For three weeks we got; accommodation, food, evening activities, excursion to the IDF museum, transportation in the end of the week to the Sar-El hostel, BBQ evening base, certificates.

Read More >>

Adelheid

[I wanted to say] thank you. These two small words say a lot.Thank you for waiting for me at the airport. I have never seen such a crowd; hundreds of people in queue for the passport control and it never seemed to end. Thank you for your warm welcome, and thank you for the beautiful orange Sar-El beret.

Read More >>

Aleksey

First of all, I want to express my highest gratitude to you for my first fantastic Sar-El experience. The organization of volunteer teams work and accommodation was above all praise. I always feel a mysterious attraction to Israel. Now with the help Sar-El and you, I have got a real chance to meet Israel and the Israeli people. To say it in a romantic way, I felt in love with Israel.

Read More >>

Rafael Costa Rica

I was born in Costa Rica in 1960, a country without an army since 1948, although with police forces  guarantee internal order and the welfare of citizens. {Therefore it} is very difficult for me, almost impossible, to have a true idea of what is a Defense Army. The opportunity I had this April 2018, to volunteer in Sar-El, allowed me to personally  share with Sar-El personnel, soldiers and staff, both men and women, who showed me not only the administrative and organizational part, but also the human part of the Army.

Read More >>

Stuart Palmer

I was privileged to meet yet another group of volunteers this week, most of whom have now joined our mailing list. This group, from USA, Canada,, Holland, Sweden, Hungary and South Africa were very lively after their days work on the army base.

Read More >>

Bennalice K.

… In 2013 I went to Cuba, I went to a restaurant and I took pictures of the writings that were on the ceiling, I found this one that I loved, [it] said ISRAEL and I knew it was not a coincidence, it was rather a sign Where I should go.

Read More >>

Beth F.

What a wonderful experience I had volunteering for Sar El!Thanks for all you did to make everything go smoothly.

Read More >>

Andreas

I want to thank you for the opportunity you gave me for this wonderful experience. I enjoyed every second of it and it far exceeded my expectations, I really enjoyed the work and the relationships I formed aside from the satisfaction of serving the country.Wearing a uniform and working in an Israeli base made me very proud.I feel also by serving I do it for my grandmother on my father’s side who unfortunately didn’t get to see the birth of the country as she perished in WWII.

Read More >>

Alessandro

It is the seventh time I come to Israel to carry out my brief annual mission. I remember the first time in 2012 I did not know a word of English and I found myself at home! While now with the English … forget it! (luckily there is the translator on the phone). What matters most is that every time I’m more and more proud to come to you on military bases.

Read More >>

Danny

I have to admit, [I was] very anxious meeting at Lod International Airport with all the other volunteers. That morning amongst, I believe hundreds of volunteers, went so well with your clear communication and instructions to us all. Then we were on our way with not only my other nine volunteers to the base, but other volunteers to other Army bases. 

Read More >>

John P. Decker – Flying Home From Israel

I confess that after leaving the US Navy 48 years ago, I still  miss certain aspects of the military life: the feeling of patriotism, its sense of purpose and even pageantry.  As a recent volunteer in the Sar-El program, to support the Israeli Defense Force,  I felt those stirrings again.

Read More >>

My Own Israeli Miracle

Israel is a land where miracles happen. It is known. Here is my story.I visited Israel for the first time with the Overseas Adventure Travel tour in 2010. We were on Mt. Bental. I was born in Leningrad after the WW II. My step brother and my uncle both died in the front.

Read More >>

Gritty and Rewarding Work

The bunk beds in which we slept (four to a room) were narrow and hard. The army issue sleeping blanket warm enough in the cold desert night. No hot water for two days. Army food included lots of humus, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, some omelettes,  and most days hot dogs for lunch.  At dairy meals we had three kinds of  cheese and “leben”—the tasty, sugarless Israeli yogurt. Why leave the comforts of home in the USA for this modest fare? For me the answer was simple: because after the last war (during which Israel was hit with over 1500 bombs and its people cowered in bomb shelters day after day), I could not let my hands stand idle. 

Read More >>

I Hope I Made A Difference

Ever heard of Sar-El? This time last year I hadn’t, but [when I gave] an airport lift to a Canadian friend of mine, [he] put me right. He told me that he was off to Israel to join a Sar-El group and that I should go and find about it myself.

Read More >>

Michael Begnini – Falling in Love With Israel

My first voyage to  Israel dates back to 2009 and  I fell in love with this country. After that  I decided to learn Hebrew; and since I wanted to improve my knowledge of the language,  I started to look for a way to do some volunteer work in Israel in order to practice what I had learnt so far.

Read More >>

Omlettes For Breakfast

I can’t decide on my most bizarre experience of the last week – was it the heater where  the red “off” button turned it on and the green “on” button turned it off? – was it the bird that flew over my head during dinner? – was it the soldier who told me to clean 320 chairs with no soap? – was it the omelettes for breakfast and dinner for five days in a row? I couldn’t possibly decide. 

Read More >>

What an Experience!

What an experience [I had]! My group was assigned to the Southern Command base in the Negev about 20 miles southwest of Beersheva. I volunteered for work in the field, which involved finalizing maintenance on tanks and armored personnel carriers and then closing them up in what amounted to industrial grade zip-lock bags. It was extremely physically challenging but I can say that I enjoyed every moment.

Read More >>

Bertha Perez – A Dream Come True

Shalom! My name is Bertha Perez. I was born in Colombia, and I live in Portugal. I grew up in a family always active in the military. I always dreamed to support volunteerism in military bases, and when I learned than in Israel it was possible, we arrived in Tel Aviv on July 3, 2011.

Read More >>

In Support of Israel

When rockets were raining down last November, many people wanted to do something tangible to support Israel. I, for one, wanted to do more than go to a rally or write a letter to the editor. After expressing my frustration to my daughter, who lives in Jerusalem, she suggested I look into Sar-El. I did, and on January 2 I headed to Israel for three weeks of volunteering on a military base. It has been a remarkable trip that I will always cherish.  

Read More >>

A Very Special Army

Israel has the only Army in the world with ‘Defence’ in its name.  In the past 12 years I have served as a volunteer on Sar-El sixteen times, and it grieves me greatly to hear Israel and the IDF maligned in the press, and yes, sadly even amongst Jewry.  I had arranged to join a tour of duty with Sar-El in November, 2012, but a few days before I was due to leave the UK, the latest Gaza crisis began. 

Read More >>

Actively Giving Thanks

The opening theme of this week’s Parasha is thankfulness, appropriate of course for Thanksgiving weekend. First, although Jacob doesn’t say it expressly, when he speaks of all that he has brought with him, material as well as familial,  it is with profound gratitude. 

Read More >>

Contributing via Sar-El: Age Irrelevant!

Keeping busy and staying productive is a great way to feel young. This summer I was doing volunteer work in Israel. I was on an Army base there performing non-military, non-combat, apolitical volunteer work. To my surprise I noticed that many retired people in Israel come on a regular basis to work on Israeli Army bases as civilian volunteers. 

Read More >>

Callie Kim – From Taiwan to Sar-El

Everything was awesome and wonderful. I bet that there are no experiences like this program. It  was my first time joining the military volunteer program; first time to touch the tanks; first time to wash the weapons; first time to try to learn Hebrew…

Read More >>

Sue Adatto – Sar-El: Sharing the Experience

For the past two summers I have participated in the most rewarding volunteer work ever, in my favorite place – Israel.  I traveled to Israel to be a Sar-El volunteer, where I spent three weeks working alongside Israeli soldiers and other volunteers from all of the world – Spain, Ukraine, Prague, Italy, Holland, Zimbabwe, and Hong Kong. My fellow volunteers were Jewish as well as Christian.

Read More >>

David Meir – From Sarasota to a Sar-El Army Base

Sometime between 2005-2007 I read an article in the Sarasota Manatee Jewish News “Volunteers Wanted” and it gave contact information regarding VFI, Volunteers for Israel. I  recently returned from Israel, from a VFI tour, actually two three-week tours, back-to-back. I joined 14 other volunteers at a base near Be’er Sheva for the first tour. On the second tour we were 11 volunteers on a base a little west of Tiberias.

Read More >>

Ron Feinberg – Finding Hope in Israel

There is much still swirling around my head as I process the ups and downs of my most recent journey to Israel earlier this month. What lingers about at the moment is a very special happening during the first week of the trip as I transitioned yet again from flabby civilian to IDF volunteer. I’ll explain.

Read More >>

Brad Jacobson – Anna’s Secret

Vitaly is “Pazaam.” He said the “Sherutim Team” (bathroom team) is the “Best of the Best.” Our team paints the girls’ sherutim better than even Mr. Clean and the White Tornado. We work hard but also have time to tease each other. Roxy calls Pam “Wide Zone.”

Read More >>

Order Out of Chaos

As soon as my steel wool pad made visible progress removing the rust, I sensed a connection to Israel unlike any other. No other advocacy for the Jewish State I was ever engaged in gave me a feeling of contributing like seeing that rusty super-sized axle on the bench start to shine. 

Read More >>

I Guess We’re Just Crazy!

Some fathers and sons spend time together fishing or attending sporting events.  That was not the case for my son and I. However, I discovered that working with my son on an Israeli military base can achieve the same bonding experience. 

Read More >>

Your Uniform is Waiting For You

At least once a year for over twelve years now, my parents have been volunteering with the Israeli Army, through the amazing programs run by the Sar El organization. If you add up all the army time they’ve done throughout the years, it would total about six months of service.

Read More >>

Lending a Hand

I recently made my first trip to Israel, volunteering for three weeks with theSar-El program. It was an incredible experience.

Read More >>

Operation Pillar of Defence – A Personal Perspective

Operation Pillar of Defence was the historical backdrop to my third Sar-El programme.  Up in the hills of the Galilee, near Afula, I spent my first week on a massive armaments and heavy artillery base for reservists.  Something was about to happen, was the general feeling amongst my fellow Sar-elniks.  We didn’t know what of course: there was simply a sense of unease.

Read More >>

Expectations Surpassed

I served in Sar-El from 9th – 27th June 2013, this was my second Sar El program, having done one previously in 2011. After submitting my paperwork, booking my flight and packing, I was a little apprehensive as to whether the coming program would live up to the wonderful experience I had in 2011.

Read More >>

Alicia C.

My experience at Sar El was outstanding.I really felt needed and met great people from all over the world.Each of us had something to share .Each one from a different background,different countries,different religions,different personal own worlds.

Read More >>>

Mitch

I want to tell you that I had the most fabulous experience of my life at [Sar-El]. They told us that we saved the Army over 165,000 shekels ($45,000) [with] all of our free labor.

Read More >>>

Jerry F.  

This experience [with Sar-El] was unlike anything I could dream or imagine: I worked with the Israel Defense Forces about ten miles south of Tel Aviv.  We worked in warehouses packing, folding, wrapping, and counting field gear, alongside soldiers. We ate, worked, and slept on the base…  I issue you the challenge to give of your time and talents to Sar El and the IDF!       

Read More >>>

Alyson  

It is with deep gratitude that I write to thank you for opportunity to have served as a volunteer in Sar El from July 19-24th of this year. From the moment I met you and the group at the airport and saw your organization and passion, to being placed in the excellent care of the madrichot Ellen and Simcha, and having completed meaningful work at the army base- the experience was incredible. I feel a deep sense of pride and accomplishment in being helpful to the IDF and to Israel and I have made wonderful friends as a result. 

Read More >>>

Ellen

OMG how great were those 3 weeks – non can compare – our wonderful group of 15, Lea with her enthusiasm and true love of her adopted country and the incredible experience of going to those border bases and meeting those brave, beautiful souls.

Read More >>>

Sylvia and Jack Bordan

We are long-time Sar-El volunteers – regularly since 1989.  That’s a lotof IDF base experience under our belts.We read the website letters with a mix of envy, and nostalgia.  Our age now limits on-base activity to less active tasks but nostalgia will have to do.

Read More >>>

Fabrizio, Italy

I spent three fantastic weeks in Zahal, with a wonderful group! I was the only Italian, but it was like feeling at home. Sometimes the work was very hard and, as they told us, we were not in a hotel. But just for these reasons my experience was greater.

Read More >>>

Mark

I wanted to let you know that I had an incredible experience with the [Sar-El] group… The soldiers on the base were very welcoming…and I will never forget my experience. It has made a lasting impression on my life and I have a much deeper bond with Israel and her people. The other members of my volunteer group were great as well and I have formed lasting connections with them also.

Read More >>>

Yegal 

What is so different about Zahal ?Normally we think of faceless soldiers, Based in nameless bases,Conducting practice maneuvers,And fighting for undefined fuzzy issues.But, who makes up the Zahal Army ??

Read More >>>

Yegal

Well…this group has gotten as tight as can be. Tighter than sardines in a can.Tighter than those two soldiers hugging in the background. Jacqui and Susan are best friends. They are organizing a get together in Philly for Bob, Glenn, David Finger, Ed & friends.

Read More >>>

Joel 

Greetings from Brazil!It has been a few great months after I have returned home…, but I can honestly say that I have not been the same after I have participated on Sar-El. Serving the soldiers and Israel gave me am immense sense of responsibility to share with everybody the truth and beauty about Israel.

Read More >>>

Kristian 

 I have successfully returned home to Bulgaria. I am writing to say A BIG THANK YOU to you, the madrichot and everybody at Sar-El. 

Read More >>>

Aron K.

Just a little note of appreciation and thanks.I’m not sure how much of an impact my contribution had on the Sar-El program and the IDF.But what I am sure of is, the enormous positive influence Sar-El had on me as an individual.

Read More >>>

Mark B.

I volunteered on the IDF Medical Supplies Center during my time on Sar-El.  My experience there gave me a deeper appreciation of Israel and Israeli society.  It was on Sar-El where I met volunteers from all over the world who came to the country and give their time and energy to serve Israel, and I realized how many people care about Israel. 

Read More >>>

Corey

I did a five week program. I was at three different bases and had a great time at each one. Living conditions were a little rough a couple of times but no problem, we were there to help!  

Read More >>>

Arto

[The] hospitality was perfect!For three weeks we got; accommodation, food, evening activities, excursion to the IDF museum, transportation in the end of the week to the Sar-El hostel, BBQ evening base, certificates.

Read More >>>

Adelheid

[I wanted to say] thank you. These two small words say a lot.Thank you for waiting for me at the airport. I have never seen such a crowd; hundreds of people in queue for the passport control and it never seemed to end. Thank you for your warm welcome, and thank you for the beautiful orange Sar-El beret.

Read More >>>

Aleksey

First of all, I want to express my highest gratitude to you for my first fantastic Sar-El experience. The organization of volunteer teams work and accommodation was above all praise. I always feel a mysterious attraction to Israel. Now with the help Sar-El and you, I have got a real chance to meet Israel and the Israeli people. To say it in a romantic way, I felt in love with Israel.

Read More >>>

Rafael Costa Rica

I was born in Costa Rica in 1960, a country without an army since 1948, although with police forces  guarantee internal order and the welfare of citizens. {Therefore it} is very difficult for me, almost impossible, to have a true idea of what is a Defense Army. The opportunity I had this April 2018, to volunteer in Sar-El, allowed me to personally  share with Sar-El personnel, soldiers and staff, both men and women, who showed me not only the administrative and organizational part, but also the human part of the Army.

Read More >>>

Stuart Palmer

I was privileged to meet yet another group of volunteers this week, most of whom have now joined our mailing list. This group, from USA, Canada,, Holland, Sweden, Hungary and South Africa were very lively after their days work on the army base.

Read More >>>

Bennalice K.

… In 2013 I went to Cuba, I went to a restaurant and I took pictures of the writings that were on the ceiling, I found this one that I loved, [it] said ISRAEL and I knew it was not a coincidence, it was rather a sign Where I should go.

Read More >>>

Beth F.

What a wonderful experience I had volunteering for Sar El!Thanks for all you did to make everything go smoothly.

Read More >>>

Andreas

I want to thank you for the opportunity you gave me for this wonderful experience. I enjoyed every second of it and it far exceeded my expectations, I really enjoyed the work and the relationships I formed aside from the satisfaction of serving the country.Wearing a uniform and working in an Israeli base made me very proud.I feel also by serving I do it for my grandmother on my father’s side who unfortunately didn’t get to see the birth of the country as she perished in WWII.

Read More >>>

Alessandro

It is the seventh time I come to Israel to carry out my brief annual mission. I remember the first time in 2012 I did not know a word of English and I found myself at home! While now with the English … forget it! (luckily there is the translator on the phone). What matters most is that every time I’m more and more proud to come to you on military bases.

Read More >>>

Danny

I have to admit, [I was] very anxious meeting at Lod International Airport with all the other volunteers. That morning amongst, I believe hundreds of volunteers, went so well with your clear communication and instructions to us all. Then we were on our way with not only my other nine volunteers to the base, but other volunteers to other Army bases. 

Read More >>>

John P. Decker – Flying Home From Israel

I confess that after leaving the US Navy 48 years ago, I still  miss certain aspects of the military life: the feeling of patriotism, its sense of purpose and even pageantry.  As a recent volunteer in the Sar-El program, to support the Israeli Defense Force,  I felt those stirrings again.

Read More >>>

My Own Israeli Miracle

Israel is a land where miracles happen. It is known. Here is my story.I visited Israel for the first time with the Overseas Adventure Travel tour in 2010. We were on Mt. Bental. I was born in Leningrad after the WW II. My step brother and my uncle both died in the front.

Read More >>>

Gritty and Rewarding Work

The bunk beds in which we slept (four to a room) were narrow and hard. The army issue sleeping blanket warm enough in the cold desert night. No hot water for two days. Army food included lots of humus, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, some omelettes,  and most days hot dogs for lunch.  At dairy meals we had three kinds of  cheese and “leben”—the tasty, sugarless Israeli yogurt. Why leave the comforts of home in the USA for this modest fare? For me the answer was simple: because after the last war (during which Israel was hit with over 1500 bombs and its people cowered in bomb shelters day after day), I could not let my hands stand idle. 

Read More >>>

I Hope I Made A Difference

Ever heard of Sar-El? This time last year I hadn’t, but [when I gave] an airport lift to a Canadian friend of mine, [he] put me right. He told me that he was off to Israel to join a Sar-El group and that I should go and find about it myself.

Read More >>>

Michael Begnini – Falling in Love With Israel

My first voyage to  Israel dates back to 2009 and  I fell in love with this country. After that  I decided to learn Hebrew; and since I wanted to improve my knowledge of the language,  I started to look for a way to do some volunteer work in Israel in order to practice what I had learnt so far.

Read More >>>

Omlettes For Breakfast

I can’t decide on my most bizarre experience of the last week – was it the heater where  the red “off” button turned it on and the green “on” button turned it off? – was it the bird that flew over my head during dinner? – was it the soldier who told me to clean 320 chairs with no soap? – was it the omelettes for breakfast and dinner for five days in a row? I couldn’t possibly decide. 

Read More >>>

What an Experience!

What an experience [I had]! My group was assigned to the Southern Command base in the Negev about 20 miles southwest of Beersheva. I volunteered for work in the field, which involved finalizing maintenance on tanks and armored personnel carriers and then closing them up in what amounted to industrial grade zip-lock bags. It was extremely physically challenging but I can say that I enjoyed every moment.

Read More >>>

Bertha Perez – A Dream Come True

Shalom! My name is Bertha Perez. I was born in Colombia, and I live in Portugal. I grew up in a family always active in the military. I always dreamed to support volunteerism in military bases, and when I learned than in Israel it was possible, we arrived in Tel Aviv on July 3, 2011.

Read More >>>

In Support of Israel

When rockets were raining down last November, many people wanted to do something tangible to support Israel. I, for one, wanted to do more than go to a rally or write a letter to the editor. After expressing my frustration to my daughter, who lives in Jerusalem, she suggested I look into Sar-El. I did, and on January 2 I headed to Israel for three weeks of volunteering on a military base. It has been a remarkable trip that I will always cherish.  

Read More >>>

A Very Special Army

Israel has the only Army in the world with ‘Defence’ in its name.  In the past 12 years I have served as a volunteer on Sar-El sixteen times, and it grieves me greatly to hear Israel and the IDF maligned in the press, and yes, sadly even amongst Jewry.  I had arranged to join a tour of duty with Sar-El in November, 2012, but a few days before I was due to leave the UK, the latest Gaza crisis began. 

Read More >>>

Actively Giving Thanks

The opening theme of this week’s Parasha is thankfulness, appropriate of course for Thanksgiving weekend. First, although Jacob doesn’t say it expressly, when he speaks of all that he has brought with him, material as well as familial,  it is with profound gratitude. 

Read More >>>

Contributing via Sar-El: Age Irrelevant!

Keeping busy and staying productive is a great way to feel young. This summer I was doing volunteer work in Israel. I was on an Army base there performing non-military, non-combat, apolitical volunteer work. To my surprise I noticed that many retired people in Israel come on a regular basis to work on Israeli Army bases as civilian volunteers. 

Read More >>>

Callie Kim – From Taiwan to Sar-El

Everything was awesome and wonderful. I bet that there are no experiences like this program. It  was my first time joining the military volunteer program; first time to touch the tanks; first time to wash the weapons; first time to try to learn Hebrew…

Read More >>>

Sue Adatto – Sar-El: Sharing the Experience

For the past two summers I have participated in the most rewarding volunteer work ever, in my favorite place – Israel.  I traveled to Israel to be a Sar-El volunteer, where I spent three weeks working alongside Israeli soldiers and other volunteers from all of the world – Spain, Ukraine, Prague, Italy, Holland, Zimbabwe, and Hong Kong. My fellow volunteers were Jewish as well as Christian.

Read More >>>

David Meir – From Sarasota to a Sar-El Army Base

Sometime between 2005-2007 I read an article in the Sarasota Manatee Jewish News “Volunteers Wanted” and it gave contact information regarding VFI, Volunteers for Israel. I  recently returned from Israel, from a VFI tour, actually two three-week tours, back-to-back. I joined 14 other volunteers at a base near Be’er Sheva for the first tour. On the second tour we were 11 volunteers on a base a little west of Tiberias.

Read More >>>

Ron Feinberg – Finding Hope in Israel

There is much still swirling around my head as I process the ups and downs of my most recent journey to Israel earlier this month. What lingers about at the moment is a very special happening during the first week of the trip as I transitioned yet again from flabby civilian to IDF volunteer. I’ll explain.

Read More >>>

Brad Jacobson – Anna’s Secret

Vitaly is “Pazaam.” He said the “Sherutim Team” (bathroom team) is the “Best of the Best.” Our team paints the girls’ sherutim better than even Mr. Clean and the White Tornado. We work hard but also have time to tease each other. Roxy calls Pam “Wide Zone.”

Read More >>>

Order Out of Chaos

As soon as my steel wool pad made visible progress removing the rust, I sensed a connection to Israel unlike any other. No other advocacy for the Jewish State I was ever engaged in gave me a feeling of contributing like seeing that rusty super-sized axle on the bench start to shine. 

Read More >>>

I Guess We’re Just Crazy!

Some fathers and sons spend time together fishing or attending sporting events.  That was not the case for my son and I. However, I discovered that working with my son on an Israeli military base can achieve the same bonding experience. 

Read More >>>

Your Uniform is Waiting For You

At least once a year for over twelve years now, my parents have been volunteering with the Israeli Army, through the amazing programs run by the Sar El organization. If you add up all the army time they’ve done throughout the years, it would total about six months of service.

Read More >>>

Operation Pillar of Defence – A Personal Perspective

Operation Pillar of Defence was the historical backdrop to my third Sar-El programme.  Up in the hills of the Galilee, near Afula, I spent my first week on a massive armaments and heavy artillery base for reservists.  Something was about to happen, was the general feeling amongst my fellow Sar-elniks.  We didn’t know what of course: there was simply a sense of unease.

Read More >>>

Expectations Surpassed

I served in Sar-El from 9th – 27th June 2013, this was my second Sar El program, having done one previously in 2011. After submitting my paperwork, booking my flight and packing, I was a little apprehensive as to whether the coming program would live up to the wonderful experience I had in 2011.

Read More >>>