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Israel Society & Culture: Sar-el Volunteers for Israel

The Sar-el program (an acronym for Sherut Le'Yisrael) in Israel combines volunteer service to the country with army service in a short span of three weeks. It was started in 1982 during the Lebanon war by Dr. Aharon Davidi, a former head of the IDF's Paratroop Brigade who was working on the Golan Heights. He started the program in response to increasing numbers of rotting crops caused by the drafting of farmers into the reserves. That year 650 volunteers began their service to the country working in agriculture. Currently. the focus for volunteers is at army bases, with such tasks as supply packaging. A total of 88,000 participants have volunteered since the start of the program.

Sources: Deitch, Ian. The Jerusalem Report. "The International Corps." (October 21, 2002), Sar-el.