Three women who made aliyah in order to serve as combat soldiers in the IDF's mixed-gender battalions participated in a 52-kilometer race near Israel's border with Egypt and spoke about their motivation to serve in the IDF as lone soldiers.
The race was held under the auspices of the 80th Division's Faran Brigade, which is responsible for the majority of Israel's border with Egypt. It stretched over 51.2 kilometers - based on the brigade's number, 512 - split into 13 segments.
One of the participants, SGT Daniella David, combat soldier and medic in the operational company in the Caracal Battalion, came to Israel from London in order to serve in the IDF as a combat soldier. She was following in the wake of her parents who had both served as IDF soldiers - her father in the Combat Engineering Corps and her mother in a staff position. David joined the IDF in November 2020 and after passing a preparatory Hebrew and acclimatization course she was placed in Caracal, Israel's first mixed-gender infantry battalion.
The brother of SGT Eliyah Schor, combat soldier in the Caracal Battalion, made aliyah and served in the Golani Brigade. When Shor made the decision to follow in his footsteps she was placed in the Bardalas battalion.
"I saw how much the service [in the IDF] shaped and developed my brother, in terms of maturity, decision-making and also personality, and I also wanted to take on such a challenge," she said.
"I decided not to be a spectator when Israel is covered in the media, but rather to know that I am making a significant contribution to the country's security. When people talk about the security situation or about our successful operations in the area. I am filled with pride," she said.
"The race, beyond sport, camaraderie and empowerment, is simply a way for us to connect to the area from a different place," Sherman said. "I made aliyah because I love serving as a combat soldier, and despite the fatigue, I just feel that I am privileged to be here," she said.
Bardalas and Caracal are part of the IDF's Border Defense Corps, which is comprised of four unisex infantry battalions, five combat intelligence battalions and the IDF's tracking unit