Sar-El The National Project for Volunteers for Israel Fri, 16 Nov 2018 10:58:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Remembering Sar-El Founder Davidi Fri, 16 Nov 2018 10:46:47 +0000 Sar-El Founder General Aaron Davidi (z”l) had made a point of regularly visiting the volunteers on their IDF bases, and Sar-Elniks Jack and Sylvia say they had often met him while on the program. 

We recall our first invitation to dinner, on Nov 4 1995, at the Davidi home.

We were honored, and happily accepted, although it conflicted with our planned attendance at a scheduled Peace Rally in Tel Aviv to mark the recently concluded OSLO Accord.

Davidi and his wife Hassida were gracious hosts- little did any of us know that while we were enjoying our meal, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (z”l) was assassinated! At the rally that we had missed!

We only learned of the assassination after Davidi returned us to our hotel.

That wasn’t quite the social event that had been intended.

Jack and Sylvia Bordan

Temporary Closure at Beit Oded Fri, 16 Nov 2018 09:23:31 +0000 Important notice to our volunteers: our hostel Beit Oded will be temporarily closed on the weekend of Dec. 6-9, 2018.


Sar-Elniks Honored For Service Fri, 16 Nov 2018 08:47:42 +0000 Congratulations to Jack and Sylvia Bordan who recently 

received an award for 30 years of service to Sar-El. Kol Hakavod!

VFI Hosts Retreat Wed, 31 Oct 2018 11:51:55 +0000 The Volunteers For Israel organization (VFI), which recruits for Sar-El, recently held a national retreat. Click here to see more. 

The retreat was held in the United States during October of this year. Representatives from Sar-El attended the meeting, discussing various topics relating to our organization. 

Volunteers Visit Hall of Remembrance Wed, 17 Oct 2018 08:17:45 +0000 Sar-El volunteers recently visited the Hall of Remembrance, located at the entrance to Jerusalem’s Har Herzl military cemetery.  Click here to take a look: 

Important Notice to Volunteers! Wed, 10 Oct 2018 10:26:49 +0000 Our meeting place has changed! Swarovski’s is gone! From now on the meeting place will be near the Erroca Sunglasses counter, Arrivals Hall, terminal 3, ground floor.

As you enter the Arrivals Hall from the outside, turn to the left. As you enter the Arrivals Hall after getting your luggage, turn to the right. If you do not see the group, please call Pamela. Click on the link below to see photos of Sar-El’s meeting places.

Sar-El-meeting-places (1)


Nights in a Bomb Shelter Sat, 15 Sep 2018 09:25:28 +0000 In his blog Sar-Elnik Mark Werner writes about his recent experiences in an Israeli bomb shelter, on a base near the Gaza border. Click here to take a look:

Sar-Elniks at 9/11 Ceremony Wed, 12 Sep 2018 08:54:09 +0000 Sar-Elniks recently attended a memorial ceremony in Israel for the victims of the 9/11 tragedy. Click here to take a look.

Participate in a Ground-Breaking Experience Sun, 09 Sep 2018 08:00:03 +0000 ALERT NOTICE –  A New program  – VFI PLUS ARCHAEOLOGY. This new All-Inclusive program has you volunteering for one week working on 

an archaeological dig from 3300 BC, the Early Bronze Age; with a second week volunteering on an IDF base. Also, days of private guided touring to off-beat attractions.The program starts November 18, 2018 for 14 days.

Interested in doing something really different?  Do you want to make a difference?

Stay Tuned —–Click here for more info:

Contact –

Experiencing Sar-El in the Desert Wed, 15 Aug 2018 08:30:54 +0000 I always had a positive attitude about Israel although I wasn’t there until last December. Sar-El gave me a wonderful opportunity to be useful for Israel and simultaneously to see the country. 

My first volunteer program allowed me to meet Israel with my own eyes. I realized there is more to  see than the area between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem seen during my first volunteer cadence. Certainty, this area is the main and the most developed part of Israel; but not whole Israel. Israel is much bigger. 

The main thing I wanted to see was the legendary Negev desert. Thanks to wonderful  Pamela, she  gave me this opportunity and  I am heading to the Negev. Two and a half hours on a bus showed me landscape changing from luxurious towers of Tel Aviv through the lovely outskirts of the agricultural fields, the fruit and olive trees, then lonely palms and finally the Negev. A beautiful highway, some bus stops for refueling, shops with all sorts of goods and foods. 

 I expected some decrease of standards in the desert compared to the base in the center of Israel. It was a mistake. Everything was at the highest level except  maybe the absence of a Mediterranean mild breeze. The base provided the volunteers everything which makes life comfortable;  and the work was  interesting, safe and efficient. 

 We, the team of seventeen guys, received clean working camouflage, working boots, sleeping bags, comfortable beds, air conditioning in barracks, delicious and nutritious food. In addition to the base commanders, our special gratitude goes to our charming madrichot, Raquel and Dana, who effectively organized our work and out-of-work life. They constantly cared for work safety at high temperatures in the middle of the desert when the temperature sometimes reached numbers around 50 C. Our leaders skillfully organized our leisure, including trips to the Negev Ben Gurion Museum and the Army Historical Museum.      

As for me, Ben Gurion Museum really surprised me with the grove of olive trees, rose bushes, lawns around Ben Gurion’s last house. It’s all in the desert. Ben Gurion was right when he predicted the future of Israel by the development of the Negev. For that, Israel needs only water and peace on the borders to turn the Negev into a growing garden. Water isn’t a problem for Israel, a country with a lot of technological approaches for water supply.  

As for peace with the neighbors, I hope Israel, with the help of the world progressive community and IDF, will convince people and governments of the neighbors that peace is much more profitable for them than the endless confrontation. 

I would like to repeat  that volunteer work was safe and interesting.. We always worked in shade. Our Madrichot arranged breaks for water and snacks. We always had new gloves and everything necessary for safe work. Evening conversations at 5 pm meetings were interesting and lively and touched on many aspects of Israel life.

In addition to cleaning our unit, we participated in cleaning the cafeteria after breakfast and lunch for staff and volunteers. For me, it was interesting in terms of assessing the quality of food cooking, storing the raw ingredients and the quality of washing dishes and cutlery. Everything was at the highest level and corresponded to the highest standards for public catering. 

 I especially want to note our friendly communication with the staff of the base. The solitude of life and work in the desert made our relationship more close and frequent. In this fellowship I learned a lot about Israel. At the end of our Sar El session, we had a meeting with the Commander  of the base. We got appreciation for the significance and effectiveness of our volunteer work.