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Volunteer in Israel Defence Forces

Aktualizováno: 10. 4. 2020

Summary of activities during membership in program SAR-EL IDF in March and September 2016.

With Holand, Polish and American co-volunteers in Army Base Bahad 20 - Technical Academy

I became more interested in Israel in 2013 after reading the book "Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle".

I visited Israel for the first time on a longer weekend in May 2015 and recorded the experience in more detail in article Israel 2015: Advice, Experiences and Travel Experience.

After then I became even more interested in Israel, and by the end of the year I found the way how to do volunteering in SAR-EL program in the Israeli Defense Forces for 1-3 weeks, which I summed up in the article - SAR-EL: Foreign, non-combat and auxiliary technical corps in Israeli Army.

SAR-EL means in Hebrew acronym which meaning is "Service to Israel". SAR-EL is the Israeli Defense Forces Logistics Volunteering Program. It is attended annually by 3 to 5 thousand volunteers from around the world, serving one to three weeks at military bases. Their work is not paid and although all volunteers wear Israeli military uniforms with special blue ranks, they are not considered as soldiers and do not use weapons. Therefore, the SAR-EL program does not violate laws prohibiting service in the army of a foreign state. These are mainly assistance in logistics, maintenance, catering and medical services. SAR-EL was founded in 1982 during the mobilization for the First Lebanese War, when all physically capable men were called as reservists into the army, and all the ripening crops were endangered and volunteer participation enabled them to harvest the crop.

I wrote two articles about my experience what it is like to be a Czech volunteer, from March and September 2016:

Then I wrote more detailed articles about typical meals at army base and about slang:

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