A Passion for Israel
Adventures of a Sar-El Volunteer
What would motivate a successful corporate lawyer to trade in his comfortable life in America for three weeks every year to volunteer for manual labor on Israeli military bases? Mark Werner, son of a Holocaust survivor, is an ardent Zionist seeking a personal way to show support for Israel. This book is based on journals he kept during 14 volunteer Sar-el stints on Israeli military bases from 2006 to 2019.
Sar-el is an Israeli organization that enables thousands of volunteers from all over the world to work in a civilian capacity on Israeli military bases. The volunteers' presence benefits Israel in two ways: first, it helps the IDF get routine but essential work done, thus releasing soldiers for more serious duties; and second, it raises the soldiers' morale by showing them that there are others outside Israel who support her.
Werner describes what life is like on Israeli army bases for volunteers, starting with his own experiences-from working through a desert sandstorm, to dealing with a scorpion in his bunk, to taking refuge in a bomb shelter during a Palestinian missile attack. Through simple activities--from packing kitbags and medical supplies for the soldiers to filling sandbags and assembling tank antennas--the volunteers work hard to make their contributions to the defense of Israel. While working side-by-side with Israeli soldiers, a camaraderie develops between the volunteers and soldiers and that camaraderie is the reward for their service.
This book tells the story of a volunteer experience that has enriched the author's life and provides a roadmap for others to show their support for Israel.
Gefen Books, 9789657023242, 488pp.
Publication Date: March 28, 2020