One of 127 American and Canadian teens that landed yesterday in Israel, Ilana Rosentzwieg bravely decided to leave her home in NJ, move to Israel, and enlist in the IDF
Just 24 hours before boarding the flight to Israel and taking on a journey to contribute to the country she believes in, Ilana Rosentzwieg (20) bid her family and friends in New Jersey farewell and packed for a new life. In only three suitcases she fit memories and essentials, assured only by the notion that the next two years will be both meaningful and rewarding.
Like many Jewish teens in the U.S. and around the world, Ilana visited Israel through a special program to learn about the country's society and heritage. It was during that year that she first considered volunteering to enlist in the IDF.
"On the Israeli memorial day we heard the story of a soldier who fell while defending the State of Israel," she said. "I thought of how brave he was and of the soldiers who contribute, and decided I wanted to contribute to Israel as well."
Although saying goodbye is never easy, Ilana's parents could not conceal their pride in their daughter's decision, "I am proud of her, support her and am extremely happy for her," said Marissa Rosentzwieg.
As for Ilana, the 12 hours of the flight could not go by quickly enough, "I can't wait to get there. This is really happening, after the long time I've been waiting for this," she said.
During the Nefesh B'Nefesh-funded flight that landed in Israel yesterday (Tuesday, Agust 14), Ilana and the 350 new immigrants on board with her began the process to receive an Israeli citizenship. 127 of the passengers are teens just like Ilana who volunteered to draft to the IDF and in just three months will be proudly wearing uniforms.