Completing the Circle of Support From National Service to the IDF – With ALEH Negev Residents Along the Way
During the year that Leah spent as a National Service girl at ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran, she became very close with a number of residents. In many conversations, she shared with them her dream of joining the IDF and making a real difference. Leah also told ‘her’ residents how much it would mean to her if they could be present at the important ceremony where recruits swear in to the IDF following basic training.
This summer, as Leah stood with her fellow soldiers in rank and file, she received a very special surprise: waving to her excitedly from the audience of close family and friends was her second family – ALEH Negev residents Yaki, Yaniv and Dan!
With tears in her eyes, Leah jumped out of the row of cadets, where everyone else stood at stiff attention, and ran to hug her friends, who were dressed in their holiday best and carrying gifts and signs they had prepared for her. Emotions ran high, and everyone present realized something special was taking place. Amidst all the excitement, Yaniv turned to Leah and asked simply, “When are you coming to visit?”
Leah’s commander, who had meanwhile joined the group, told the residents how Leah doesn’t stop talking about them and her experiences during her year in the village. In fact, she herself feels that she knows each of them personally from Leah’s detailed descriptions!
Significantly, Leah chose the Education and Youth Corps as her choice of service in the IDF. This unit is responsible for cultural activities in the lives of soldiers, teaching them about the country and its values as well as the nature of their duties as soldiers and citizens of the state. Leah’s year of national service in ALEH Negev has prepared her well and instilled in her the values and sensitivity of caring for the most vulnerable members of Israel’s society.