Sar-El News - Sar
Volume 12 no 1
If not now, when?
Major Ariel Sharon
byba PrOc3 5766 winter spring 2006
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Commanders of the Parachute Corps and two
senior officers of the IDF October 1955
Second from left in back row is a slender
Major Ariel Sharon next to Chief-of-staff
Lt.Gen. Moishe Dayan At Sharon's feet is
dark-haired Captain Aharon Davidi
Captain Aharon Davidi
Recent events have made the publication of the above photograph particularly timely. Aharon
Davidi, now with the rank of Brigadier General (Retired) started Sar-El in 1982, and has remained its guiding force as chairman of the Sar-El Board. He recently celebrated an important
birthday and so on behalf of Sar-El Canada we wish him good health. Long may he continue to
visit our volunteers on our assigned bases. JB How time flies if you're having fun
We ended 2005 with the publication of
Volume 2, No 5 (our 7th Issue) of our
emailed newsletter called B'Yadayim (with
Hands). If you haven't been receiving your
copy, please send us your email address, and
those of friends who might be interested in
Some items from B'Yadayim will be repeated in this issue of Sar-El News. We now have our own internet domain
Our web site address is now
so keep up to date and pay us a visit.
And our new email addresses are
[email protected] 1
Sar-El in Montreal gets a new address
Our Sar-El Canada Family
"We are excited about the prospect
of having Sar-El make BIEC [Bronfman Israel Experience Centre] its
base of operation, its address, its
To make this a regular feature of Sar-El
News we must depend on input from our
readers. So please send us items of interest special birthdays, weddings, awards, ... and,
yes, obits too.
With these words from Shlomo Shimon, Executive Director of the Bronfman Jewish
Education Centre (BJEC), Sar-El Canada, in
Montreal, gets a new window on the world.
We start on a happy note:
a mazal tov to our Sar-El Canada Board
member, Harry Wolle, and his family, on the
marriage of two children: Effie in February
and Rhona in April.
Sar-El Canada will occupy desk space in the
office of the Bronfman Israel Experience
Centre, on the top floor of Cummings
House, a central part of the Montreal Jewish
Community Campus. The building includes
the Jewish Public Library, the Montreal
Holocaust Memorial Centre, the Canadian
Zionist Federation, the Aliyah Office, Canadian Jewish Congress (Quebec Region),
Federation CJA, who operate the building,
and many other important Montreal Jewish
We will be in excellent company in a prime
location in the Montreal Jewish Community.
On a less happy note:
Col. Moshe Reinitz, a former Sar-El commander, passed away on May 17, 2005 in
Israel, after losing a fight with cancer. He
was well known by many Sar-El "veterans",
and a personal friend to many of us.
And we have lost some "local" members
Our new Montreal address will be
May their memory be a blessing.
at the Bronfman Israel Experience Centre,
1 Carré Cummings Square, Suite 500
Montreal, QC H3W 1M6
Please keep us informed of your "life-cycle
events" by phone, email, Canada Post.
Our phone number is unchanged:
and our email address is now
[email protected] Program Schedule - Starting dates at
Ben Gurion Airport
Programs continue to start approximately
every three weeks, at Ben Gurion Airport.
Our web site now highlights selected
program dates for 2006 and the complete
schedule for the year is available at the link
to the Israeli site.
As usual, the normal program continues to
be the nominal 3-week stint, starting on
Sunday or Monday and running through the
On request, a two-week stint is also possible, ending on the second Thursday.
See Program Schedule p3
ANNUAL PETTY-CASH APPEAL
Please support our recruiting activity.
Use the enclosed contribution slip and send
your cheque soon.
A Sar-El Experience
by Tikvah Nissenbaum
Program Schedule ... cont'd
Our most common program date requests
continue to be for the spring, after Passover,
and for the fall, after Sukkot/Simkhat
Torah. The Israeli site shows April 23 or 24
and May 14 or 15 for the spring, and October 15, or 16, or exceptionally October17,
and November 5 or 6 for the fall.
However in order to accomodate Canadian
Volunteers who may have problems making
travel arrangements for those busy dates, we
have arranged with Sar-El to start a postpassover group on May 7 or 8, and a postSimkhat Torah group on October 22 or 23.
This provides us with a good choice of
spring and fall dates.
An extract from a personal testimonial that
appeared in the "Voice" of Temple EmanuEl-Beth Sholom in Westmount, QC
We gathered at the new Ben Gurion Airport
terminal. This Israeli terminal is so beautiful
and impressive that it took my heart away.
The architectural design embraces both ancient and modern times – it is magnificent!
Remember that bases are not open during
the holiday periods and volunteers must
leave the base at such times. So make plans
accordingly. Some 2005 repeaters have already made fall 2006 airline reservations.
It's not too early to think about bookings! ...
I was assigned to a group of 18 volunteers,
from Canada, U.S.A., England, Holland,
Switzerland, Italy and South Africa ... on an
IDF communication base ... from the beginning I felt a common bond and a single goal
united us: to help and serve the army. ...
Each morning, dressed in our uniforms, we
proudly joined the soldiers for the flag raising ceremony. Some of the volunteers, myself included, had tears in their eyes when
they saw the Israeli flag waving up high. We
actually felt like we were a real part of the
Israeli army. The big smiles of appreciation
on the faces of the soldiers made us feel
Despite the seriousness of what we were
doing the work atmosphere was very relaxed. We talk, we joked, we sang Israeli
songs and occasionally we even danced. We
learned about each others personal backgrounds and about the countries we each
came from. ...
The three weeks flew by. For me, our last
evening was the high point.. As a token of
their appreciation, the commanding officer
gave each volunteer a Sar-El T-shirt and
cap. But the best thing was the Sar-El certificate attesting to the work we did.. I will
cherish this always. So join any of the regular scheduled English-Language Groups throughout the year
or a special Canadian group:
Spring: May 7 or 8
Fall: October 22 or 23
And take note of these special groups
International Youth Groups
Age 18 to 25
July 2 to July 20
July 23 to August 10
for children age 14 and up
parents or grandparents
July 9 to July 21
Thanks to our Sar-El Canada printer
A tous les coins de rues un orchestre de rock,
du tango ou des acteurs sur une estrade.
Le travail quotidien a repris le lendemain à
la base. Le matin nous nous levions tôt pour
le petit déjeuner. Eh, ma foi ! La nourriture
était bonne. Nous travaillions le matin
jusqu’à midi cependant nous avions toujours
une pause. Après le déjeuner nous avons
travaillé jusqu’à 16:30 avec toujours une
pause santé. Après le souper nous avions
toujours un programme organisé par nos
madrichot , Yael et Galit.
Lors de mon séjour, nous avions eu deux
excursions organisé par Sar-El . La première était une journée à Jérusalem. Nous
avons visité des lieux importants. J’étais
très touché par la cimitière où repose les anciens présidents d’Israel ainsi que Théodore
Hertzel, le fondateur du Zionisme moderne.
Notre deuxième excursion était à Zichron
Yachov . Cette communauté sauvé de la
faillite par le Baron de Rothchild. Nous
avons visité un jardin magnifique construit
en son honneur ; où il repose également avec
sa femme. De plus nous avons visité une
synagogue et nous nous sommes promenés
dans des boutiques.
Lors de mon séjour en Israel avec Sar-El j’ai
rencontré un tas de gens intéressants. De
plus j’ai appris comment réparer des casques
militaires. En fait, j’ai donné du temps et de
l’effort à Israel. Et donc, un rêve réalisé.
Maintenant c’est à vous ! A Dream Come True A first-time volunteer,
Jean-Charles Le Brun, describes his stint at
Batsap (and first visit to Israel)
Un rêve réalisé
Par Jean-Charles Le Brun
Depuis quelques années, je cherchais un
moyen d’aider Israel d’une façon concrète.
En parlant avec des amies à la synagogue
j’appris l’existence de Sar-El Canada. Elles
avaient fait plusieurs séjours en Israel avec
Alors, en Mai 2005, j’ai passé trois semaines en Israel avec un merveilleux
groupe de bénévoles. Nous avons travaillé
sur une base militaire près de Ramla qui
s’appelle Batzsap. Cette dernière est une
base de télécommunications. Nous avons
réparé des antennes, des casques,et peinturé
les casques de nouveau etc.
La première semaine de travail fût courte car
les fêtes de Yom Ha Zichron et Yom HaAtsma’out avaient eu lieu. Les jours de
fêtes et Chabbate nous étions obligés de
quitter la base. Avant de se quitter pour
Yom Ha Zichron Sar-El nous avait amené
pour une cérémonie du souvenir à un
monument pour les parachutistes
and [ useful ] information,
Don't lose your passport! That's the firm
advice of Montreal volunteer Norm
Glickman, with Sar-El in November.
His story, in part a tribute to the efficiency of the Canadian passport people
in Israel, was a costly and trying experience. Norm's additional advice is
"check with your bank about whether
your ATM card will allow you to withdraw money in Israel, from a savings account, rather than a chequing account."
Todah rabah, Norm. Une cérémonie empreinte d’une dignité
émouvante avait eu lieu ou des familles
éprouvées se souvenaient de leurs êtres
chers tombés dans le service de leur pays.
Le lendemain pour Yom Ha-Atsma’out
quelle explosion de joie après tant de tristesse ! A Jérusalem, quelle fête, si bigarré,
en se promenant je voyais les rues bondées
du monde,dansant, mangeant, festoyant.
camps of Teresine and its crematoria. ... The
group visited emotionally-charged places
such as the Jewish Quarter and its old Synagogue dating to the year 1200, as well as the
Prague Museum where Shoah names are inscribed.
2. After a Prague Shabbat, the group flew to
Tel Aviv ... for the second part of the mission, volunteer activity, in Beer Sheva
(Montreal community's "twin") Following a
visit to organizations subsidized by the
Jewish community of Montreal ... the volunteers divided into 2 groups: one worked in
a center for physically handicapped, the
other in a center for mentally handicapped.
... this experience was particularly touching
even if sometimes difficult. This contact
with handicapped people deeply moved
them and allowed them to create unanticipated bonds.
3. After this week of intense volunteer work,
the travelers were reinvigorated by a day at
the Dead Sea and the Ein Gedi spa: relaxation and the sun! For some a tour of the
Galil and the Golan was arranged
4. The final stage: Volunteering with Sar-El
at Qtsiot, a desert base south of Beer Sheva
near the Egyptian border. Some helped in
the kitchens while others put order in the
shops, sorting tools, folding tents, repainting
signposts, etc... important work for this
military base. Mission de Solidarité en Israël
Sar-El Canada continues to be proud of its
involvement with the Communauté sépharade unifiée du Québec (CSUQ) in its annual Mission de Solidarité. Our sincere
congratulations to the CSUQ and in particular, to the members of the organizing
committee with whom we have worked. The
report that follows was based on a French
language article in la Voix Sépharade, with
For the fourth year in succession, a group of
adults led by the Community Services Department of the Communauté sépharade unifiée du Québec (CSUQ) undertook a mission
of solidarity to Israel. At the heart of this
group was a small core devoted to the cause
of mutual aid, and impassioned by this
country -- the subject of so much debate.
Gilberte Cohen Scali, a CSUQ staff member, and members of the organizing committee Edmond Silber, Linda Amram,
Jacques Sabbag, and Henri Znaty Their initial idea was simple: to accompany a group
of adults - Sephardi Francophones, to the
"promised land" to explore this marvelous
country, and their own rich Jewish heritage
... Until 2002, this experience had been
available only to young members of their
community.... Past participants report that
they had a unique experience, thanks to the
volunteer work which provides an integral
part of the program.
Canadian Volunteers for Israel
President: Len Berk
788 Marlee Ave., Suite 315 Toronto, ON M6B 3K1
Tel: (416) 781-6089 FAX: (416) 785-7687
Vice President: Jack Bordan
at the Bronfman Israel Experience Centre
1 Carré Cummings Square, Suite 500
Montreal, QC H3W 1M6
Tel: (514) 735-0272
Some Highlights of the 2005 mission:
1. November 3, thirty-seven adults left
Montreal for Prague. ... to see not only the
charms of the Czech capital, but also the less
glorious places, such as the concentration
Newsletter editor: Jack Bordan