The memorial for IDF's Machal, the volunteers from overseas who came to fight for Israel’s founding, was dedicated with the following statement:
"You came to us when we needed you most, during those difficult, uncertain days in our War of Independence. You gave us not only your experience, but your lives as well. The people of Israel and the State of Israel will never forget, and will always cherish, this unique contribution made by you -- the volunteers of Machal."In the critical years from 1946 - 1949, Jews (and some non-Jews) from around the world volunteered to help build and defend the State of Israel. Discreet efforts were made in the US and Europe to recruit manpower, acquire weapons, army surplus, and even airplanes and aircraft carriers. Experienced WWII veterans came to Palestine and formed the basis of Israel’s fledgling Air Force and Navy.
-- PM Yitzchak Rabin
Toldot Yisrael's new movie, The Volunteers: Answering the Call of History, tells the stories of people like: Vidal Sassoon, who left a hairdressing apprenticeship in England to come fight in the Palmach; Yeshiva University Chancellor Norman Lamm who volunteered in a bullet making factory in upstate NY; Harold Katz, who dropped out of Harvard Law School to help bring illegal immigrants to Palestine, and others who volunteered to help found the State of Israel.The Volunteers: Answering the Call of History is the third installment in the "Eyewitness 1948" short film series produced by Toldot Yisrael and the History Channel.
The films are the centerpiece of an educational pilot program for the US being developed with The iCenter and made possible through the generous support of the Jim Joseph Foundation and others. The first two films in the series, Echoes of a Shofar, and The Story of a Vote have been viewed over 250,000 times since the series launch in September!
Toldot Yisrael is a Jerusalem based nonprofit dedicated to recording and sharing the firsthand testimonies of the men and women who helped found the State of Israel. Over 500 video interviews have been conducted with those who were involved during the pre-State struggle and the momentous events of 1948. Our aim is to conduct hundreds more over the next several years – while these people who helped make Jewish History are still available to tell their stories. Eyewitness 1948 presents stories that address the heroism of the era as well as the complex moral dilemmas confronted as the young nation battled for its existence. Toldot Yisrael’s footage serves as primary source materials for educational curricula that brings to life the founding of the State of Israel for today’s young Jews.
Watch the video above, or click here: The Volunteers: Answering the Call of History
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Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד