The family of Shlomit Berman, a 19-year-old "lone soldier" from the United States who fought in Operation Protective Edge, arrived in Israel Thursday night to celebrate the tale of the Israelites' escape from Egypt.
"I missed them," said Berman excitedly. "Maybe we'll travel to the battery so I can show it to them," referring to the Iron Dome anti-rocket system she operated last summer.
Berman moved to Israel in order to serve in the IDF and the Kibbutz Movement helped find her a host family at a kibbutz in the Gaza Envelope. She spends her days off at the home of Rebecca and Stanley Kaye. This week, Berman will celebrate Passover with her family for the first time in years.
Berman spent most of last summer's conflict shooting down rockets launched from the Gaza Strip. Her parents, Lynn and Steve, live in Pennsylvania and closely followed events in Israel. They worried, of course, about their daughter on the front.
"I missed them terribly," said Berman. "I waited and was so excited about them to come. It's so fun to see them for the first time in months. My parents are visiting for a week and we have lots of plans. I hope we have time for everything. We have plans to go on trips around the country, see lots of things, and I hope we'll have time to visit an Iron Dome battery."