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1 August 2010 



Yediot Achronot – 1 August 2010


(Captions Under Photos at the Top of the Article)


From left to right:


Galya Nisenbaum, aged 18, Los Angeles, California

The Dream: To be an army casualty officer

The Concession Studying at the University of California at Berkeley

Reactions from parents: My family is proud of me

Worries: That I will permanently lose touch with my friends in the United States 

Andrew Solomon
, aged 20, Ann Arbor, Michigan

The Dream: Army field security

The Concession: Several very attractive offers of work

Reactions from parents: My parents are in total shock, but they are supportive

Worries: The distance from my family


Sam Israel, aged 21, Newton, Massachusetts

The Dream: Army General Staff Reconnaissance Unit

The Concession:  Final year of studies in neuroscience

Reactions from parents: My family is against it, but my friends are supportive

Worries: Cultural block


Bernie Becker, aged 19, Edison, New Jersey

The Dream: Army Intelligence

The Concession: I have temporarily given up my medical studies

Reactions from parents: My family is sad that I am going so far away

Worries: I’ll manage!


Betty Diamond, aged 22, Blair, Texas

The Dream: Army spokesperson

The Concession: There’s nothing to give up here

Reactions from parents: My friends think this is really cool

Worries: Running a lot and be shouted at by the officers


Ben Greenwald, aged 21, Hudson, New York

The Dream: The paratroopers

The Concession: The last year of studying psychology

Reactions from parents: My father is supportive, but everyone else thinks I’m nuts

Worries: To fall during my trial training period


Lisa Teitelbaum, aged 19, Olney, Maryland

The Dream: To be a guide

The Concession: Studying at NYU

Reactions from parents: A little bit sad, but they’re proud of me

Worries: I’m really not scared


Kendall Maxbauer, aged 19, Farmington Hills, Michigan

The Dream: Army education division

The Concession: University

Reactions from parents: “After 2,000 years, the Jewish nation has its own army – and our daughter is serving in it!”

Worries: The cultural gap



Get ready for the Induction Center: Young North Americans are absolutely dying to join the General Staff Reconnaissance Unit, Duvdevan, the Paratroopers, and other elite units * This week, they reached Israel and joined the army


By Itamar Eichner


Benjamin Crane, aged 18, of Illinois has a dream: to be an army infiltrator. On Tuesday, he will land in Israel, become a new immigrant, and immediately travel to the IDF absorption and classification base. There, he will be drafted and he will ask to join Duvdevan.


“To be accepted into the unit, I specially took lessons in Krav Maga combat training during the past four years. I want to join the army being as prepared as possible. Combat training strengthened my emotional resilience and my fighting spirit, and it prepared me for the type of special activities in Duvdevan,” explained this very motivated young man.


Crane is one of 85 young Jews from the United States and Canada – 56 boys and 29 girls, most of whom are aged 18-22, who arrived two days ago in Israel on a special flight to Israel organized by Nefesh BeNefesh in conjunction with the Jewish Agency, Friends of the IDF in the United States (FIDF), and Garin Tzabar, in order to join the IDF. This is the largest number of young Jews from North America to take a single flight together in order to join the army. For this reason, the flight has been nicknamed the “Induction Center Flight.”


The vast majority of these fresh soldiers have asked to serve in combat units. Many requests were registered for voluntary units, such as Duvdevan, the General Staff Reconnaissance Unit, Flotilla 13, the paratroopers, and pilot courses. Among the girls, there is a demand for positions as medics, casualty officers, education officers, and shooting instructors.


As soon as they disembarked from the flight, the young immigrants were privileged to meet President Shimon Peres, who came especially to welcome them. A festive ceremony  was held for them at Ben-Gurion Airport, which was attended by hundreds of visitors and invited guests, including Rami Kleinstein, himself an immigrant from the United States, who performed especially for the new immigrants and the crowd.


By the end of the year, 450 young Jews from North America will have arrived in Israel to join the IDF. The project to enlist the immigrants is the result of cooperation between Nefesh BeNefesh and FIDF, who launched a program to help immigrant soldiers to be successfully absorbed in their military service and afterwards within the State of Israel. As part of the program, the new immigrants are eligible for increased help during their period of military service, including financial grants, social assistance, and food parcels every three months. On their discharge from the army, they will be eligible for professional personal advice, including where to study, how to choose a career, and employment placement.


Erez Chalfon, deputy director of Nefesh BeNefesh says: “Serving in the IDF is the most effective way to become successfully absorbed within Israel. Every single one of the young immigrants fills our hearts with pride and much joy.”


Gen. (res.) Yitzchak (Gerry) Gershon, director of the FIDF, says: “Tens of thousands of supporters of the IDF in the United States are doing a lot, out of pure love, in order to contribute to the strengthening of the State of Israel and to take care of the soldiers. The investment of 85 young people, who are immigrating to Israel in order to join the IDF with intention of joining their fates to that of the state, creates a reality for the security of the entire Jewish people.”