Emotional greetings and
warm embraces were the order of the day on October 10, 2006 as former members of 1948 Machal and 1956 Machal-Nachal renewed
acquaintanceships with former comrades in arms. Some had not seen each other for about 40-50 years.
180 former volunteers as well as family members and guests participated in the reunion at the Nachal Monument in Pardes Chana.
Entertainment was provided by an enthusiastic dance group from the Tel Aviv Scout movement. Among several moving speeches, Smoky Simon gave an overview of the vitally important contribution
made by Machal in the War of Independence. He quoted Ben-Gurion who said, “the Machal Forces were the Diaspora’s
single most important contribution to Israel’s survival” and Yitzhak Rabin’s words “You came to us
when we needed you most, during those dark and 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 also cherish this unique contribution made by you, the volunteers of Machal”.
Colonel Miki Edelstein, Commander of the Nachal Brigade, who had participated in the recent Lebanon war told us about his very positive experiences with volunteers
from abroad and mentioned that Machal is still very much alive. Many single soldiers from all over the world are today serving
in Nachal. Jewish Agency chairman Ze’ev Bielski and Telfed director, Sid Shapiro delivered warm messages.
The success of the event was entirely due to the initiative and hard work of Tzemach Bloombeg and his ad hoc committee
comprising Doddie Gordon, Gidon Katz, Harry Shaer, Allie and Erika Dubb, Teddy
Kaplan, Les Amdur, Arnie Friedman, Ivor Wolf, David, "Migdal" Tepperson and
however, that the complete story of the volunteers from abroad who have served and those who continue to serve in Nachal deserves
to be told. “It really upsets me,” says Tzemach “that in the
modern Israel, people don't know enough of the history of this wonderful country of ours and the part played by volunteers
A history of Machal-Nachal and those who came to serve between 1956 and 1965 is now being prepared and readers who
have photos and/or anecdotes to share are invited to send photos to Gidon Katz at firstname.lastname@example.org and stories to Les Amdur at