August 30, 2017

To my dearest future chayalot,

You have so much to learn on this incredible journey and I hope you will take each lesson with grace and determination. It's hard. I won't lie to you that there are days where you feel that your strength has completely run out, physically and mentally and emotionally all at once. Yet, there are also days where you feel that you are getting it all right and making friends like a boss. Try to focus on these days; the ones where you thought anything was possible. The army is not at all what you're expecting, unless you are like me and therefore, had no expectations whatsoever. Honestly, just roll with it. It's going to be ridiculous some...

August 29, 2017

Dear Future Chayalim,

Congratulations and welcome to the IDF. Your experience thus far has probably been pretty confusing. Navigating the process to draft is very difficult with all the bureaucracy the army puts you through. It’ll be frustrating as will many parts of your service in the IDF. In basic training, you’ll have commanders (maybe younger, smaller, and not as smart as you) telling you to do pointless things. Stand here, do this, do that, pick up this and bring it there, etc. Basic training is just a couple of months of annoying chores, getting your head adjusted to being in the IDF. Advanced training becomes a little bit more difficult. You’ll have more rela...

August 28, 2017

Dear future Bnot Sherut,

Your year is about to begin! I'm so excited and proud of all of you for making the decision to do Sherut Leumi!

You may be nervous and scared right now of the language, of being alone, of the new job, but remember you're not the first person to have these worries and we all made it through. And not only did we survive, but for me and so many of my friends we can tell you that this was the best year of our lives!

Here are a few tips to help you with those worries:

1. Hebrew - Remember that people do want to hear what you have to say. It might be scary or intimidating at times, but just go for it! Say what's on your mind even if you know t...

August 26, 2016

Dear Future Soldiers,

So you've decided to join the IDF, and it goes without saying that life as you know it is about to change. Your idea of a vacation will shift drastically from a trip to the Bahamas to a Yom Siddurim, and the idea of a new car is surprisingly less enticing than a cool addition to your gun. The army is another world where orders are orders but it almost doesn't matter because you won't understand them anyways. The best I can do to mentally prepare you is to tell you that many have done this before you and many will do this after you. And now it's your turn to accumulate your stories of funny Hebrew miscommunications and how you got off base that o...

August 26, 2016

Dear Future Bnot Sherut,

I would just like to start off by congratulating you on deciding to do sherut leumi! Kol HaKavod to you, for using your year to give back to others and to help the country. It’s really a huge step, and so many organizations would not be able to function or run without incredible bnot sherut like yourselves!

I currently am finishing up my final days in sherut leumi, and let me tell you - it was definitely an experience. I learned so much about the israeli government, bureaucracy, "typical Israeli-ness" and some of the most incredible friends, which I had the amazing opportunity of meeting. But most importantly, I learned so much about myself.


May 19, 2016

It’s not yet 10 AM and I have already calmed a mother who lost contact with her son who’s traveling in Argentina, helped an Israeli who lost his passport abroad, advised a different citizen about traveling to Dubai, spoke with a consul about giving a visa to a Baha’i, and edited a letter to the Japanese embassy. I sit back and rest for a moment, and wonder again what the qualifications for this job were. I think again that they might not go beyond the interviews I passed, but before I can ponder that, the phone rings again. This time it’s about the upcoming consular dialogue with Ukraine. I explain the outline of the dialogue to the best of my abilities, and set up...

March 31, 2016

*Ring Ring….. Ring Ring…. Voicemail.*


Sounds like someone trying to reach the Machal office! Machal stands for Mitnadvei Chutz La’Eretz, volunteers from outside of Israel. Machal is a program that allows foreigners who are not Israeli citizens to draft into the IDF for 18 months. During the 18 months, Machal soldiers are treated like a regular soldier. Everything is the same, except for the shorter service. Machal soldiers also get all the benefits of a Chayal Boded, without being a citizen. There are many reasons to enlist in Machal, mainly it because of the shorter service. One can also make Aliyah during/after army service and live the dream. The process may be a...