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Gal Avioz – Kibbutz Ginnigar 2015

“Being a lone soldier isn’t easy but having the help and support system of Garin Tzabar helps me remember why I made this choice in the first place and why I wouldn’t have done it any other way even if I had the chance.“

“So tell me isn’t it scary to be by yourself? How do you handle everything all alone? What do you do for Shabbat dinner? Where do you live? Who takes care of you and helps you with all the changes of culture and language? How do you know what you want to do in the army?”

When I first made the decision to leave my family and friends in Australia to make aliya and enlist into the IDF I was asked all these questions which all made me very confused and stressed. But after I completed the absorption period with Garin Tzabar and start the transition is Israel with my Garin everything felt like it was falling into place.

I made friends from different countries around Europe and Australia that became my family, I lived in a kibbutz call Ginnigar that became my home, met my amazing host family in the kibbutz that welcomed me with open arms into their home for Shabbat dinners and gave me the support with anything else I needed, and most of all I became part of a program that held my hand and stayed by my side through this whole journey, the tests, the decision making, the enlistment and everything else in between that would make me feel safe and never doubt that I’m alone.

I feel so lucky and privilege to have a family here- a family that I chose, a family of people who left their homes, their parents and siblings and the place they felt more comfortable in to defend Israel and the lives of our friends, family, and nation.

That’s a connection, a bond that cannot be broken. Moving to Israel for me was a step I needed to take towards becoming an independent person, to learn about myself and living out my values compared to just believing in them, to becoming a soldier in the IDF whose goal is to protect and defend anyone in danger and someone who is empowered and capable of doing anything they set their mind to, no matter the difficulty.

As much as I planned to give on this journey, I have also received so much in terms of family, friends, and experience

Being a soldier isn’t easy but having the help and support system and knowing Garin Tzabar helps me remember why I made this choice in the first place and why I wouldn’t have done it any other way even if I had the chance. 

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