A Passion for Israel: Adventures of a Sar-El Volunteer is based on journals Mark Werner kept during 14 volunteer Sar-El stints on Israeli military bases from 2006 to 2019.
What would motivate a successful corporate lawyer to trade in his comfortable life in America for three weeks every year to volunteer on an Israeli military base?
Mark Werner, an ardent American Zionist, sought a personal way to show support for Israel.
His new book, A Passion for Israel: Adventures of a Sar-El Volunteer, is based on journals he kept during 14 volunteer Sar-El stints on Israeli military bases from 2006 to 2019.
It tells the story of a volunteer experience that has enriched the author’s life, and it also provides a roadmap for others to show their support for Israel.
Sar-El is an Israeli organization that enables thousands of volunteers from all over the world to work in a civilian capacity on Israeli military bases.
Werner describes what life is like on Israeli army bases for volunteers, starting with his own experiences — from working through a desert sandstorm, to dealing with a scorpion in his bunk, to taking refuge in a bomb shelter during a Hamas missile attack.
Through simple activities — from packing kitbags and medical supplies for the soldiers to filling sandbags and assembling tank antennas — the volunteers work hard to make their contributions to the defense of Israel.
While working side-by-side with Israeli soldiers, a camaraderie develops between the volunteers and soldiers, and that camaraderie is the reward for their service.
Our local Sar-El/VFI (Volunteers for Israel) Team is available to speak to groups and individuals about the program, including the new VFI PLUS programs, which are scheduled to reopen this fall.