“There is a reason the slogan of Garin Tzabar is “family for life” - these three simple words are true. We are forever friends, forever a Garin family, and I can’t explain how lucky I feel to have that.”
I’m Noa Efron, I was a member of Garin Tzabar 2016 in Kibbutz Afikim. The summer before my senior year of high school was when I was introduced to Garin Tzabar and I knew it was what I wanted to do. My family is Israeli so I knew I wanted to join the IDF, but after learning about Tzabar I realized that would be the perfect way to do so.
During my senior year, I went to all of my Garin seminars and started connecting with the people I had no idea would soon become my best friends. We moved to Israel in August of 2016 and my life was completely changed. I had the time of my life spending every day studying, talking, laughing, crying, exploring Israel and anything else in between with these 20 amazing people who had very quickly become my family, along with meeting and connecting with my amazing host family from the kibbutz.
When we all drafted to the army, each to his or her place, we had no idea how things would change, how things would be, but it turned out that our bond got even stronger, and that what got me through my tough weeks on base was how excited I was to get back to my Garin that weekend, to go to the pool or the Kinneret, to watch movies, or even just to sit and talk about our weeks.
After finishing the army a few weeks ago and looking back, I cannot begin to try to imagine how any of these last almost three years would have been without Garin Tzabar and the people I met in it. These people are my best friends and my family, the ones who pick me up when I’m down, who give me advice when I need it most, who are there for me always.
There is a reason the slogan of Garin Tzabar is “family for life” – these three simple words are true. My Garin may not live in the kibbutz anymore and we may not be soldiers anymore, but we are forever friends, forever a Garin family, and I can’t explain how lucky I feel to have that.
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