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Solomon Tanenbaum – Ra’anana Garin Tzabar Village 2014

“the greatest advantage of Garin Tzabar was not the direct bureaucratic help or the Hebrew lessons – the greatest advantage Garin Tzabar granted was the opportunity to make our own community.”

Like any other Oleh Hadash, when looking back on those first few weeks of my Aliyah, they are easily transformed into those surreal, quasi-traumatic, blurred memories, understood only by other Olim and also like any other Oleh, those commonly shared memories are often thought of fondly, or at the very least with a sense of humor.

After spending some time learning the language, I moved to Ra’anana with the rest of my future Garin, all young Olim with the common goal of joining the army and the common inexperience of dealing with the Israeli bureaucracy.

The benefits of Garin Tzabar were most obvious; during the Perek Klita, the months leading up to our draft dates, we were counseled in dealing with the Israeli government agencies, banks, and the army, as well as additional Hebrew lessons.  Garin Tzabar supplied us with a place to stay, and slowly attempted to acclimate us more to Israeli culture.  However, the greatest advantage of Garin Tzabar was not the direct bureaucratic help or the Hebrew lessons – the greatest advantage Garin Tzabar granted was the opportunity to make our own community. 

During the entirety of our Perek Klita and throughout our military service we built on that opportunity, creating a network of friends and family that continue to support each other and encourage our growth in Israel.  The strength of bonds within each Garin are decided only by the members who make it up and the degree to which experiences are shared. 

I am thankful to my Garin, who enriched those surreal, quasi-traumatic memories with joy, sorrow, and comradery, and who extended those memories from the first few weeks to the full duration of my Army service as alone soldiers in IDF.

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