‘Lone soldiers’ from New Jersey won’t be alone in the IDF
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‘Lone soldiers’ from New Jersey won’t be alone in the IDF

'A bonding experience'

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The entrance at Kibbutz Tirat Tzvi.

Excerpt from a report to parents from the garin last year at Kibbutz Tirat Tzvi:

“The guys had to suffer a ‘layla lavan,’ or ‘white night,’ a.k.a. a gibush (basically, physical hell) put together annually by kibbutznikim (who were once high-ranked combat soldiers) for the boys going into the army. It started Saturday night and ended early Sunday morning. They came back worn out, grumpy, and starving, to say the least.

“The girls had a seminar where we spoke about women in the army. We went over topics like religiosity, sexual harassment, and even the dilemma of wearing skirts or pants in the army.

“Our garin leaders, Dalia, Dina, and Mark, organized many trips for us. One of them was a three-day trip where we ate and slept in Bedouin tents, went on a camel ride, hiked Massada, swam in the waters of Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea, and much more….

“These months together have been a bonding experience for the garin. We got to know each other and build true friendships. That’s an important element for the journey we’re going through. Now that we’re at a stage where we will be seeing less of each other, with each of us in different places in the army, we really look forward to coming to the Kibbutz for Shabbat, because we know we’ll get to see our friends again, tell each other stories, and catch up on laughs.”

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