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September 25, 1992 - Image 114

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-09-25

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Best wishes for a
Happy & Healthy New Year

Fine Designer Furniture,
Gifts & Accessories


6644 Orchard Lake at Maple
Mon., Thurs., Fri. 10-9; Tues., Wed., Sat. 10-6; Sun. 12-5


Best Wishes
To All Our Customers & Friends,
For A
Healthy, Happy and Prosperous
New Year


F=0 0 Pol




Grand River at 10 Mile • Farmington Hills • 471-0800

Fuller Fashion Boutique
Sizes 16 to 24

Wishes Its Customers
and Friends A
Healthy and Happy


From the Staff of Valentina


Northwestern Hwy at Inkster • Applegate Square



Nation's IDF Forces
Are More Than Israelis


Special to The Jewish News


ou don't have to be 18
years old and in peak
physical condition to
serve in the Israel Defense
Forces (IDF). You don't have
to train for combat duty,
undergo basic training, pass a
desert survival course or fire
an Uzi. And, as the 80
Americans attending the
10th reunion of Sar-El
(Volunteers for Israel) in
Jerusalem will tell you, you
don't even have to be an
Israeli citizen.
What is required to join the
Sar-El, three-week army
volunteers program, however,
is a willingness to work hard,
adaptability, and, according
to one volunteer, "a • good
sense of humor." And working
on an army base or in an
Israeli hospital is not so easy
when living in barracks and
having to put up with ratios,
roll call and orders from a
commanding officer who may
be young enough to be your
Military volunteering is not
new to Israel. During the
1948 War of Independence,
many volunteers came to
Palestine through Mahal
(Volunteers From Abroad).
The impetus for Sar-El,
however, came from another
war — the 1982 action in
Lebanon. General Aaron
Davidi suggested calling up
Americans to help with the
kibbutz harvests and some
650 Americans heeded the
call. Since then more than
33,000 foreign volunteers
from 20 countries have engag-
ed in just about any noncom-
bat task — cleaning weapons,
repairing vehicles, cooking,
etc. Some 3,280 volunteers,
including teachers, professors,
mechanics and engineers (ag-
ed 18-65), came in 1991 alone.
About half came from the U.S.
and France and the rest from
South Africa, Canada,
Holland and Hungary.
Today's volunteers pay their
own fare but the barracks,
board and uniform are
courtesy of the IDF. Arline
Tepper, a computer artist
from Los Angeles, says, "The
Sar-El program was wonder-
ful but the work was
sometimes tedious. I
distributed sleeping bags, did
laundry and sorted uniforms
by size — anything to relieve
a reservist from duty!'
For New Yorker Al
Goldberg and New Jerseyite
Bob Kauffman, who have a
friendly feud over who can

serve the most IDF time, the
24 and 23 Sar-El stints they
have done, respectively, speak
for their dedication. "If a
reservist has to serve only 40
instead of 42 days," says ,
Kauffman, "then I've con-
tributed something." Indeed,,_
notes New Haven-born
Michael Ben Lev, who directs
the volunteers during his
reserve duty, "When Kauff-
man is on duty, the sergeant
major can take leave."
"The volunteers contribute
not only physical labor, but a -
work ethic which they impart
to the Israelis," notes General
Davidi. "The Americans work
efficiently, boost morale and
are wonderful in times of ,
crisis. During the Gulf War,
they served their time (usual- -
ly three weeks) and more, and
not one left!'
Jean Blum, a Philadelphia
schoolteacher, served in an
army hospital during the
Gulf War and was
"decorated" for her service. "I
picked January 13, 1991, for


Army leave
allowed volunteers
excursions such as
ascending Masada.

my arrival and wasn't about
to change it. I relieved nurses,
did physical therapy and
helped care for the staff's
children when schools were
Lionel Hadad, from Mar-
seilles, signed up for two Sar-
El stints. So taken was the
23-year-old with the IDF and
Israel that he made aliyah to
realize his dream of teaching
physical education in the
Holy Land.
Hungarian-born Katy and
Moran Hynel's Sar-El service
also led them and their two
teen-age daughters to settle
in Israel. Arriving just days
after the start of the Gulf
War, they were visited in a Tel
Aviv absorption center by
General Davidi and Rachel
Carmi. Since then, Sar-El
volunteers have helped
Moran, an artist, find work as
an illustrator and have
become "like family," she
The unheated, non air-
conditioned barracks with ar-
What happens after Sar-El?
"Many former volunteers,
1,500 to date, hang up their
fatigues and opt to stay in the
country," notes General
Davidi. "Others become infor-
mal Israel ambassadors to
their communities back
home." ❑



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