American-Born IDF Soldier: ‘All I Ever Wanted Was to Defend the State of Israel’

“Be strong and resolute, be not in fear or in dread of them; for Hashem your God Himself marches with you: He will not fail you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 (The Israel Bible™)

Strong belief in the need for Jews to protect themselves in the Jewish state is what brought Rochelle Windman, an American-born armored personnel carrier driving instructor in the Israel Defense Forces, to Israel, the IDF soldier told Breaking Israel News recently.

“We are Jews and we have to protect ourselves – that is the emotion that brought me to Israel.

“I believe in the Jewish state, I believe in Israel, and all I ever wanted was to be a part of defending it.”

Windman, 24, an immigrant from Maryland, said she realized the importance of moving to Israel, becoming a citizen, and serving in the army when she was 13. Then, she came to Israel on a bat mitzvah tour and quickly fell in love with the Jewish state. She said she cannot explain this love, but it is so deep that every time someone would try to talk her out of the move, she could not be convinced it was the wrong thing.

Even today, when she experiences the hardships of moving to a foreign country or serving in the army, she is pleased with her decision.

After spending four months working on a kibbutz during high school and then finishing her college degree in the United States, Windman made her move to Israel.

“It was one month after I graduated,” she said.

Windman joined the roughly 1,000 other American immigrants who serve in the IDF each year. Windman joined the roughly 1,000 other American immigrants who serve in the IDF each year. Several organizations offer support to these immigrant soldiers – and all soldiers. This can include providing scholarships for studies for an academic degree or for vocational training or running social welfare projects that help make the army service of the individual soldier more pleasant and comfortable and with a fewer personal worries. 

Windman in the IDF (Courtesy)

Israel365 raises money for the IDF. The support of pro-Israel Jews and Christians abroad tells IDF soldiers that they are not alone, but that there are countless God-fearing people who are thinking about them, and who trust and appreciate their role as the defenders of the Biblical and eternal Jewish homeland.

Windman was eager to serve in the army. However, her non-fluent Hebrew made it difficult for her to become an army instructor, as she had dreamed. She enrolled in an ulpan Hebrew language program to improve her language. Ultimately, she was selected for the role.

“People can help Israel in all kinds of ways,” said Windman, offering praise for those who advocate for Israel or donate to the Land, the people and God of Israel. “For me, for Rochelle, I knew I had to get on a uniform and become one of those women I always looked up to – holding a gun, wearing a uniform and making sure the Jewish people are safe.”

Windman said she feels very blessed.

“I do believe in God and I think it was God that has helped everything fall into place for me,” she said.