“Garin,” the Hebrew word for “core” or “seed,” commonly refers to a group of people who move to Israel together. “Tzabar,” translated into English as “sabra,” means a Jew born in Israel.
Garin Tzabar was founded by the Tzofim, Israel’s apolitical and non-sectarian scouting movement, in 1991 to facilitate the voluntary induction of army-age children of Israelis living abroad. The program is now one of several under the auspices of the Friends of Israel Scouts, Inc., founded in 1995 to develop and maintain a connection between the Tzofim and North American Jewry. It gets funding from the Ministry of Absorption and the Jewish Agency.
Today, about half of the Garin Tzabar participants are from non-Israeli families, mostly from the United States. In addition to the new observant garin, every year there are groups formed in the East Coast, West Coast, and Midwest.
The preparation process for August arrival starts in December, but it is suggested to contact the organization around mid-July as demand outstrips available places: Israelscouts.org or 1-877-IL-SCOUT (457-2688).