Garin Tzabar

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Garin Tzabar (Hebrew: צופי צבר‎) is a program that facilitates service in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) for children of Israelis and Diaspora Jews not living in Israel.


Soldiers who come to Israel to serve in the IDF but who have no immediate family in Israel are called "Lone Soldiers". Garin Tzabar was formed in order to provide a support system for such soldiers.


In Hebrew, Garin means “core” or “seed”. Aside from its literal use, the word is also used in Israel to refer to a group of people who moved to Israel together. The Hebrew word Tzabar, translated in English as sabra, is used in Israel to mean a native-born Israeli Jew.


Garin Tzabar was founded by the Friends of Israel Scouts, Inc. in 1991 and is currently under its auspices. The program is largely funded by Israel's Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, but it also receives money from the Jewish Agency for Israel and private donors.

The Program[edit]

The future members of Garin Tzabar begin their orientation in their local region, or in Israel. A series of five seminars is designed to:

  • Facilitate discussion among prospective participants about the decision they plan to make
  • Impart logistic information regarding the program, military service, and Aliyah to Israel,
  • Provide a forum to practice Hebrew
  • Build a strong and cohesive group that will serve as a support system to program participants once they arrive in Israel
  • Take care of necessary emigration logistics with their shaliach

Upon arrival in Israel, the members of each Garin are placed on a hosting kibbutz. The first three months prior to basic training include:

  • Teaching of the Hebrew language (under Ulpan)
  • Pre-draft logistics such as a physical exam, mental-psychological fitness testing, and an interview with the IDF
  • Acclimation to Israeli history, geography, and culture

In addition to Garin Tzabar staff, soldiers and educators from the IDF and teachers from the Ministry of Education assist with the transition.

Each individual begins his or her military service according to the schedule arranged by the IDF.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


"Tzofim Garin Tzabar," Masa Israel Journey. Available:

"About Tzofim Garin Tzabar," Friends of Israel Scouts, Inc. Available: