Lone Soldiers: It takes two to samba

Inseparable from an early age, Marcel and Caio took their friendship from the soccer streets of Sao Paulo to the hard tackle of the IDF’s Home Front Command.

By
August 6, 2010 16:10
2 minute read.
CAIO (RIGHT) and Marcel. ‘Serving in the army is part of growing up and learning about life.’

Caio Marcel Weinstein. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson's Office)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Marcel Weinstein and Caio Feuerstein have been best friends ever since they can remember. They went to the same school and summer camps, and every day kicked a soccer ball around the streets near their homes in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

As kids though they never imagined that they would both immigrate to Israel and not only serve at the same time in the IDF but also in the same unit – the Home Front Command’s elite Search-and-Rescue Unit.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Weinstein and Feuerstein, today 20, first came to Israel together in 2006 for their sophomore year of high school. The Second Lebanon War that summer foiled their plans to complete high school together after Weinstein’s parents ordered him back home over what seemed like an unstable security situation in Israel. It was the first time their paths had split since third grade.

While Weinstein returned to Sao Paulo to complete high school, he did so reluctantly. After graduation, he sat down with his parents and told them that he had made up his mind and that he was returning to Israel.

“I am going back to serve in the IDF,” he said.

“I decided to come back and I convinced them even though it wasn’t easy,” he said. “They ultimately supported me since they understood that serving in the army was part of my growing up and learning about life and this was something they couldn’t argue with.”

Last August, Weinstein was drafted into the Home Front Command, following closely in the footsteps of his friend Caio, who was drafted into the same search-and-rescue unit just several months earlier. While a draft ahead, Feuerstein says that he sees his best friend often – during training exercises and deployments throughout the country.

The Home Front Command’s Search-and Rescue Unit is responsible for all rescue operations following earthquakes or missile attacks and often deploys overseas in humanitarian missions such as in Haiti, Turkey and India.



“I came to Israel especially to do the army and looked for what was most important and this is it,” Feuerstein said. “We save lives and that is why I am serving here.”

In a phone conversation from Sao Paulo, Ariel Weinstein, Marcel’s older brother, admitted that it was at first extremely difficult for his parents when his brother decided to go back to Israel.

“Everyone is at home, he is the smallest brother and we all worry about him all the time,” Ariel said. “But, he wanted to go to Israel and it is his life to live.”

What will the two do after their army service? Don’t worry, they say, they will continue to be together and the two friends are already planning their post-army trip overseas. After that? Who knows, they say. “Maybe we will open a Brazilian restaurant in Israel.”

Related Content

Supreme Court President Asher Grunis
August 28, 2014
Grapevine: September significance

By GREER FAY CASHMAN