Garin Tzabar is a unique program, founded in 1991 and run by Tzofim Tzabar Olami, with the support of the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, The Prime Minister office, The Social Security Department, The Jewish Agency For Israel and Masa Israel Journey Project organization. The Garin Tzabar members are Jewish Americans and children of Israelis living in the Diaspora, who choose to move to Israel and serve in the IDF. Upon their arrival in Israel, the group is adopted by the Israel Scouts and placed in a hosting kibbutz that quickly becomes their home away from home throughout the duration of their army service.
Garin Tzabar was created in order to become a supportive social shell for Lone Soldiers, by continued guidance, building and maintaining the group as a ‘Garin’.
- Providing support and advice during the emotional dilemmas that might arise, and structuring the core social foundations of the ‘Garin’ prior to moving to Israel.
- Providing a framework for the personal, group, military, educational and bureaucratic aspects during the absorption process.
- Providing individual and group support, as well as guidance during significant military service
- Fostering and maintaining the unique alumni network; which continues to develop and empower ‘Garin’ members.
Description of the program:
To create a group framework of guidance and support for young Jews and Israelis living abroad who choose to return to Israel or make Alyah for the first time in order to serve a full and meaningful service in the IDF. This is done by a mental and emotional preparation process that starts in the countries of origin and continues with their arrival to Israel and their absorption into the Kibbutzim, Israeli society and through the processes of military pretrial recruitment. The core of the program is carried out during their military service where they continue to live as a group and receive from the group constant guidance and support.
1.The Preparation Process
In this initial stage, the prospective Garin members are identified by the shlichim (emissaries) of the Israel Scouts and the Alyia shlichim all around the world. The group meets for preparation seminars throughout the year, during which all issues pertaining to the move to Israel are discussed and reflected upon, including study of the cultural, political and social characteristics of Israel and a thorough introduction to the IDF and its social ole in Israeli society. Each individual is encouraged to undergo a personal process of maturation towards moving to Israel and joining the IDF.
2. The Absorption Process in Israel
The first three months in Israel are dedicated to absorption in the kibbutz, Hebrew Ulpan studies (for those who need supplementary Hebrew studies) and handling of all the bureaucratic issues of absorption in Israel and the IDF.
3. Service in the IDF
Upon joining the army, each Garin member follows his/her individual path within the IDF system. The Garin continues to exist as a support group and members continue to meet in the kibbutz over weekends, during the holidays and on time off from the army. All Garin staff – both from the kibbutz and from the Israel Scouts, continue to work with all members throughout their army service period. Additional seminars and programs are designed and implemented to maintain the framework of the Garin.