DAY 9: Community Week (IDF Day), July 10 2017
Storyteller of the day: Atarah Gobrin
Today was our first full day in Eilat and it was amazing!!! We started the day early and did some activities where we played games and learned about the IDF. We did a "gadna" where we acted as soldiers and created a mock army experience in order to truly get in the Israeli IDF mindset. After that we divided into groups and discussed different controversial topics relating to the IDF, such as; should religious people be exempt from national service? Or do Israeli-Arabs have an obligation to serve if Israel is in a state of war with their home country? The conversations were fascinating and it was interesting to see such a diverse group of teens speak so openly and passionately about Israel.
After lunch we wrote letters and made packages for lone soldiers who moved to Israel to volunteer for the IDF without their families. We did this with the help of members of The House of Suzan, which provides jobs for at risk youth. This activity was incredibly meaningful for me seeing as I was able to make a package for my sister (who later spoke to us on the panel). She is a Diller alumni and currently surving as a lone soldier. Later, we had a panel featuring Israelis pre, post and during their army service to speak to us about their experiences.
To conclude the day we went on a tour of Lotar base. The base is a terror defence base primarily made up of reserve soldiers. We were able to see their army vehicles and got to hold different types of guns. It was a really exciting and educational day, we all got a true glimpse into the Eilat perspective on the IDF. I can't wait for tomorrow!