Feb 23, 2006
creating new and strong Zionists
I went yesterday to a very special event that I had never experienced before. The Marva "graduation" ceremony.
Marva is a program in the Israeli army in which young adults from all over the world volunteer to serve in the Israeli army for 2 months (in the Marva program). They go through basic training and serve in the Israeli army (to a certain extent).
Marva is run through the educational department of the army, and they see this as integral part of raising a young generation of Zionists and supporters of Israel and the Israeli army, and potential olim.
My sister went on this program. She is in a Bnei Akiva program for the year that includes 2 months of Marva. Yesterday was the army ceremony of the completion of the Marva program. There were about 150 kids (18 or so year olds) finishing Marva and there were about 300 guests (family and friends) to watch and show support at the ceremony. Among the generals and army people (whom I did not recognize or know), one of the speakers was Zev Bielsky, head of the Jewish Agency.
The ceremony was fun and a lot less formal than other army ceremonies I had been to. It was held in Latrun (the armored corps meuseum and army base).
The kids clearly enjoyed the program and gained a lot from being in it. they gained a camraderie and met new friends from all over the world. Mostly, they gained an appreciation of Israel and experiences they will never forget. I overheard some talking about ther plans to do more army service in the future. Many of these kids may have come from Zionistic backgrounds, but many (or some at least) did not and fell into the program by chance and circumstance. This is a great program and really has developed a love of Israel and these kids.