Dozens of new recruits bid farewell to their families on Sunday at Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem, and began their new lives as IDF soldiers.
Most of the new soldiers are native-born Israelis. Speaking Hebrew as their mother tongue and having spent their lives entirely in Israel, becoming IDF soldiers was a given for them.
For David Dolgin, however, joining the IDF was a choice – one which set him apart from most of his friends and family back home.
Unlike his peers, Dolgin grew up in the very comfortable surroundings of Beverly Hills. A recent graduate of Beverly Hills High School, he could have easily chosen the conventional path – the easier path – and enrolled in a posh southern California university.
Instead, Dolgin decided to “go all the way” and put himself in harm’s way to serve the army of a country he never lived in.
Since his parents remain in California, Dolgin will be considered a “lone soldier”. David is not completely alone, however, as his older sister Daniella has already made Aliyah and now lives in Jerusalem. In addition, three of his friends from California have also enlisted in the IDF.
Dolgin and his family spoke to Arutz Sheva on Sunday at the farewell gathering.
“Our family is very Zionist, so this move makes sense, and we’re very proud of him,” said David’s parents, Jess and Michelle Dolgin.
David explained his decision to leave Beverly Hills and volunteer for the Israeli army.
“If I’m going to go, I’ll go all the way. Life in LA is very materialistic, that’s why I wanted to do something important with my life.”
Dolgin shrugged off the difficulties of moving new a new country and enlisting in the army.
"To put everything aside meant nothing. I knew that it would all be worth it coming here today. I'll all be worth it in the end."
His sister, Daniella, praised him for taking the plunge, noting the sacrifices his decision entails.
"I'm really proud of my brother that he was able to leave the United States and the comforts of home and our family to come to Israel and to join the army. It's something very special."