Follow the Leader….. An L.A. Visitor Comes Full Circle at ALEH Negev

Follow the Leader….. An L.A. Visitor Comes Full Circle at ALEH Negev

Aug 5, 2008

Avi Shemesh has come a long way. Over a quarter century ago, he served as a paratrooper in the IDF forces, under the command of Major General (Res.) Doron Almog – a far cry from his current life in L.A. But recently, Avi decided to come full circle, and returned to visit his former commander, who now serves as the chairman of ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran, a rehabilitation village for special-needs young adults in the south of Israel.
As one of hundreds of soldiers under Doron’s command, Avi did not know the general personally during his stint in the IDF. But fate – and mutual friends – brought them together again in Los Angeles, and Doron issued a special invitation for Avi and his family to come visit when they were next in Israel. That visit, which took place earlier this week, offered Avi a very personal glimpse into the life of his former commander.
The personal tour of the rehabilitation village, inspired by and named for Doron’s son Eran, o.b.m., was a real milestone for Avi and his family. “Seeing the challenges the residents navigate every day, and how they affect their family and caregivers as well, has made us realize what is truly important,” said one of the visitors. “We are so moved by their courage, and have been officially recruited to help out in any way we can.”
At the end of the visit Avi turned to Doron with an inspiring declaration. “When we were in the army we followed you with respect and admiration… today, we are so proud of your success. What you have accomplished and built here is surely the most important mission of all. Continue on in realizing our mutual dream, and as you forge forward, we will continue to follow in your footsteps and carry out the challenges you direct our way.” 
Plan to be in Israel? Contact us and we will be happy to arrange for your personal tour of any of the ALEH facilities. 


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