Sharon fights her way to Israel


Photo by Sierra Christopher

Sharon Solel proudly shows off her Israel Defense Force t-shirt.

Sierra Christopher, Staff Writer

Senior Sharon Solel moved to America at the age of eight and had an easy time adjusting to life here. Although she has grown up as an American girl, she said part of her has always missed her hometown of Tel Aviv, Israel.

“Before I made the move it seemed like the most ideal situation,” Solel said, “but once I actually got here it hit me that I didn’t really know anyone, and I was away from my grandparents and cousins, so it was really hard.”

As most seniors are deciding which college to go to, Solel decided to explore the route of joining the army in Israel, which is a requirement of people her age who are citizens of Israel. For two years, young Israeli adults spend the beginning of adulthood in the Israeli Defense Force. Sharon was not obligated to join, but made the decision to go against the comfortableness of college and take on the adventure of moving back to Israel en route to the army.

“For me the decision was really hard,” Solel said. “I’m not really sure what I want to do with my life, so I feel that two years doing something productive will help me figure it out.”

Solel will not be the only one from America making the bold move back; she will be joined by students from all over Southern California, with whom she has spent a lot of time. She attends army seminars to meet the group she will be going with. There, they learn a lot of useful skills including Krav Maga, which is a popular form of self-defense. They also receive tons of information about what they will be doing in Israel.

“At the seminars we do a lot of bonding activities with the people in our groups,” Solel said, “because we are going to be spending a lot of time with them when we enlist.”

Her family and friends will miss her for she will be miles away, but the decision to defend her country should be commended. In the Israeli Defense Force she will not be in combat, but helping out in other ways. The specific duties she will be doing are not certain yet but could include talking to soldiers’ families and helping them deal with their children being away, or even helping out wounded soldiers. Although the future is not certain, her decision to go to the Israeli Defense Force is a definite decision.

“I completely support her decision,” friend and senior Lynsie Rouk said. “I am going to miss her a lot but I’m very proud of the choice she has made.”