I’m writing this to update everyone on next year’s plans; this blog will also provide a resource for me to document the experience.
Next year I’m planning on traveling to Israel and spending time prior to University. I am looking to join the Israeli Army through a program called Mahal, which allows non-Israeli Jews to volunteer and serve in the IDF. The program requires a minimum of 18 months instead of the mandatory three-year service requirement of Israeli 18-year-olds. My enlistment begins in December and will begin with a three month Army Ulpan (a Hebrew course for immigrants). After that, I will be placed with a unit, no different than if I was an Israeli, and my service will begin.
My dad will be traveling with me to Israel in late September and will be helping me get settled. After that, I have two months to fill while I begin the enlistment process. I’m looking for opportunities (preferably free!) that would offer room and board for those two months (any ideas anyone?). Right now, I’m thinking of spending a few months in a Yeshiva.
Right now I’m looking on with excitement and apprehension. It’s a huge step. College is one thing, but traveling thousands of miles away to a new language and culture is nerve-wracking. Although, the idea of being in Israel, volunteering for the IDF, and spending time with our beloved friends in Israel is incredibly exciting.
My dad and I arrive in Israel on September 27th at 3:00 am. We have tentative plans to spend Shabbat with Leila Dashevsky. After that we will be reconnecting with our Israeli friends and beginning the enlistment process with the IDF.
So, to all my Israeli friends, I say, see you soon! And to everyone else reading this blog, I’ll try to update it as often as I can and write about my adventures for you all to read.
My next post will likely be from Israel!