On the day of her release from army service in Israel, alum Rachel Russman (’13) posted the following incredible message:

A idea that became a dream that then became my reality is now just a memory.

But more than just a memory of some of the highest highs and lowest lows, it’s a language learned, beliefs tested, a Garin turned family, a kibbutz turned home, limits pushed and boundaries broken.

I learned how to keep going when everything was going against me, how to stay true to myself when the system forces you to be become like everyone else, that sometimes you only realize what’s really important to you once it’s being taken away and that I really am mizrachit on the inside.

But at the end of the day, it was about the bigger picture. Serving our country. And for that if I were to go back in time to over 2 years ago I would have made the same decision all over again because it has been a great honor to serve as a combat solider in the IDF.

Rachel is one of dozens of alumni who have served in the IDF or in sheirut leumi. At any given time, 6-10 alumni are in active duty in the Israeli army.