Marva - General Description:
Marva is an IDF program that allows young Jews to learn and experience the basics of IDF and Israeli life. The program lasts between seven to eight weeks and each week, students are stationed at a different base.
This program is open to participants from all over the world. The program is conducted in simple Hebrew, allowing for significant improvement of Hebrew skills. Activities range from camp craft, navigation, and topography to hikes, lectures, seminars and walking tours, participation in training exercises, and being in the field. Emphasis is placed on Israel’s security situation during lectures on specific social and political issues. The program is based in the Southern Negev on a Gadna base, but participants will spend considerable time in various other parts of the country, including Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, the Galilee, and more.
Category: General Short Term Programs
Organizer: Tnuat Aliyah
Dates Information: This program runs more than once a year. Contact the organizer for further details.
Length: 8 weeks
Requirements: Minimum Age: 18
&... Maximum Age: 28
Target Population: Jewish Tourists
*Excellent physical condition.
*Minimum of aleph level Hebrew.
There is no ulpan as part of the program. If your Hebrew is not sufficient, we suggest you do an Ulpan prior to the program.
Marva -- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: QUESTION: What is Marva and how did it come about?
A: Marva began in 1982 as an advanced Gadna (the educational youth branch of the IDF) style program. It originally started on a base called Marva (Sage) in the Gallil.
Q: QUESTION: What is the goal of the program?
A: One of the great forces in the Israeli experience is the army. It is one great leveler and probably the best tool for absorption of new immigrants. Yet in most western countries the word Army bring out negative connotations. The goal of Marva is to expose foreign students to the complexities of the problems and challenges facing the Israeli Army, and the role of the IDF within the framework of Israeli society. It must be emphasized that one who does Marva is not doing army service and is no way part of the IDF. The course is open to any Jew who is interested in learning about the IDF. You do not have to think about Aliyah or army service. During the course participants will have to deal with army disipline, the challenge of the mind will be harder than the challenge of the body.
Q: Do I need to speak Hebrew?
A: Since the program is given in Hebrew the more Hebrew you know the more you will gain out of the program. There is a Hebrew test as part of the application procedure. You need to be able to carry a conversation, even if it's only on a "street level."
Q: Do I have to be especially fit?
A: You must be physically healthy and have documentation. Beyond that you do not need physical strength but you do need determination and stamina.
Q: What is the application procedure?
A: If you are applying from abroad, see your local Aliyah representative. If you do not know how to contact your representative abroad, or you are in Israel, contact Tnuat Aliyah.
Q: Where is the program located?
A: Today's main base is the Gadna base at Sde Boker however during the program participants travel all over the country.
Q: What are the living conditions like?
A: Army accommodations. Be aware that it is located in the Negev and the heat in the summer is very dry and the winter nights can be quite cold.
Q: How many people, on an average, do the program?
A: There are approximately 40 people in each session from all over the world.
Q: What will I learn there?
A: You will learn, topography, camp craft, history, celestial navigation, as well as current events and their effect on the army and riflery. You will visit army bases and see army projects with other sectors of Israeli society. For around 6 weeks of the program you will be "on the road," including one week at the Wingate Institute for physical fitness training. Most of all you will learn how to act as a group and how to help others in your unit to achieve a common goal - as such you will learn the true secret of the Israeli army moral and team cooperation.
For more information, contact your local Shaliach or call or write to:
Marva Program - Tnuat Aliyah
Shmuel Hanagid 7 - POB 92
Quotes by previous program participants:
"Marva is a chance to see a side of Israel that only Israeli soldiers get to see".
"On one occasion we stood on a runway as six f-16’s taxied by. Wow. We met many soldiers and spoke to them. We were considered soldiers and for a short time at least experienced a little bit of what it is like to be a soldier in a country in which the army is survival itself."
"Marva is not only about what we get out of it. It is also about what we can give to others. Our presence can help boost the morale of soldiers and provide pride for Israelis".
"In short, Marva is a great way that Diaspora Jews can at least show how much we love and appreciate Israel, and how much we appreciate the sacrifice that real Israeli soldiers make so that we can have a country of our own."
~ Anthony Herman, Melbourne ~