April 16, 2024
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April 16, 2024
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Volunteering at the Michael Levin Base for Lone Soldiers

I began volunteering at The Michael Levin Base in October as part of the Midreshet Torah v’Avodah (MTVA) service learning program. The Base is a nonprofit organization that helps to support lone soldiers and lone b’not sherut. Their services include counseling, social events, Shabbat meals and preparation for life after service. The Base opened in February 2020, right before the pandemic hit, and quickly adjusted its efforts to ensure that lone soldiers and lone b’not sherut were being taken care of. For example, they organized Shabbat meal packages and ensured that meals were provided for anyone who was in quarantine.

During my time volunteering, I, along with two other girls from TVA, baked desserts for the service members who came in to visit The Base. It was really special to be able to add that warm atmosphere that having a homemade dessert brings. We also helped to decorate The Base for different holidays throughout the year. Being able to contribute to the homelike atmosphere The Base provides to so many lone soldiers and lone bnot sherut was really meaningful.

When our service learning program ended before Pesach, I knew that I didn’t want to end my involvement with The Base there. I decided to reach out and see if I could come back as part of TVA’s internship program and luckily, I was able to. For the past three weeks, I have been coming in every day to assist with their social media and graphic-design needs.

Being able to come in and see The Base in action has been inspiring. The extent to which every staff member will go to support lone service members is impressive. The other day, one of the staff members received a call from a lone soldier. Although I didn’t hear the extent of the situation, the next thing I knew The Base called up her commander and demanded that they help her with the issue she was facing. I was amazed by lengths the staff will go to help every individual.

Another instance where I saw the impact The Base has was last week during our Lag B’Omer celebration. Over 100 lone soldiers and lone b’not sherut came to celebrate the holiday with a fun barbeque and live music. Being at the event and seeing the way in which The Base has created a sense of family for these lone service members has allowed me to fully appreciate the important work the organization is doing. In light of the tragedy that happened at Meron, it was extremely meaningful to celebrate the holiday in an atmosphere focused on community.

I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to volunteer at The Base all year and be able to join this incredible organization. To help ensure The Base can continue their very important work, please consider donating at https://themichaellevinbase.org.il/donate/


Kayla Goldberger, of Teaneck, is a gap year student at MTVA and an intern at the Michael Levin Base in Jerusalem.

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