“Tsav Rishon” Is Now Behind Them…”

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Shalom from Tel Aviv.

I have been writing bits and pieces since my last post but after yesterday’s momentous day, it was time to finish this and post it! Yesterday, after a very long and grueling day, our 32 Southwest Garin kids become the “property of the IDF.” They were issued their official ZAHAL id number, went through a battery of tests – (general interview and character assessment, hebrew test, intelligence test, psychological evaluation and medical exam) and at the end, most of them were told their profile score -that scary number that every Israeli teenager talks about and waits for from well before they enter 11th grade. Which unit can I hope to be part of? Do I qualify for an elite unit? Is my medical report good enough for fierce combat and secret missions? How good was my hebrew? Will I be sent to mikveh alon – the army ulpan? How did my friends do and where will they be going?

The easiest comparison for me (a non-Israeli but I grew up here as a teenager,) is how your kid may have scored on their SAT’s pr ACT’s, because that score basically is the roadmap as to what college they ‘can’ apply to and their chances of being accepted.

Together with the score, they are usually told what is the reason they received the score they did. Perhaps it’s because they wear glasses, have a medical condition, bad back, faint easily, have flat feet or one leg longer than the other. The reasons vary and sometimes it is worth challenging if you think it was unfair. I know of several kids who did, and they managed to have the score changed.

But, whatever their profile score was, I hear everyone is glad this day is over because now they really can focus on the task at hand…improving their hebrew language, partying on the kibbutz, ann hanging out and waiting for the Manilla. The Manila is a questionnaire that is received soonish. It will have the scores from Tsav Rishon, the physical profile score which determine the list of jobs and options available to them.

For those of you who are new this entire process, Israeli kids start their army process in 11th grade and it is spread out over 18 months or so. As our kids have only a few months, the process is streamlined and will all be completed in 2-3 months. Most will enlist sometime in November.

This weekend is a free weekend. Some of our kids will go off with friends and family. Others just need the time to rest and catch up on facebook and emailing!

If you have a personal story of your Garin kid that you would like to share, I know everyone would love to hear it. It’s not just our kids that need support and someone to talk to. If you have questions or concerns, this is the place to voice them.

Until next time,
Love from Israel,