Monday, August 17, 2020

IDU volunteer beats corona, makes aliyah and seeks to join IDF

 IDU Volunteer beats Corona, makes Aliyah 

and strives to join IDF

        Bram Settenbrino’s journey to Israel has been anything but boring. In less than two years Bram, who hails
 from Passaic, New Jersey managed to join the IDU (Israel Dog Unit), an elite Israeli civilian K9 unit, together 
with his SAR dog, Danna, finding two missing people. How many 19 year-old American kids could boast rescuing or 
recovering two missing persons? If that was not enough, Bram’s impressive finds came after police and other 
rescue units surrendered and retired frustrated from the searches, telling him and the other IDU volunteers, 
“go home, the missing person is not here, you are wasting your time”. Bram accomplished all of this while 
on off days from his pre-military academy yeshiva studies at Mechinat Keshet Yehudah in the Golan Heights 
and taking care of his elderly grandparents in Jerusalem.


        Like many other IDU volunteers, Bram is a passionate Zionist, with a burning love for the Jewish people and a 
special sense of calling with the courage of his convictions. The IDU has plenty of dedicated young Jews from North 
America, who left the good-life of comforts in the west to immigrate to Israel and to engage in meaningful life-saving
activities with Israel’s lead Search and Rescue outfit, where they get all kinds of training which they put to good use
once they join the IDF, and which gives them an edge over their Israeli counterparts who compete to enter into 
Israel’s finest combat units. However, one thing that sets Bram apart from some of his fellow “IDUniks” was the fact 
that he contracted corona as “Patient #260” in Israel, and spent more than a month in a “Corona Hotel” recuperating. 
This provided a special opportunity, as Bram and the IDU offered to send his sniffing service dog, Danna, in with him,
 where they could commence trial corona diagnosis by sniffing dogs. This proposal was made to Litzman the former
 minister of health. Despite this unique opportunity and a detailed program which was submitted to Litzman personally
 and which was backed up by world class dog experts from around the world, the proposal went unanswered. Who
 knows how many lives could have been saved if the early pilot would have been adopted.

        None of this discouraged Bram from rushing to Israel’s Ministry of Interior to formally immigrate to Israel in his 
quest to move onto his next set of battlegrounds in the IDF.

        Bram’s face beams with happiness as he shows off his Teudat Zehut – Israeli ID card which he received last 
week. He will soon be a Chayal Boded, a lone soldier in the IDF as he continues to live in the Israel Dog Unit base in 
Tapuach in the Shomron, hoping to continue to save lives with his dog, Danna during furloughs from the IDF, like 
other lone soldiers in the unit, who participated in IDU operations before, during and after their IDF service.

To join the IDU or to donate to the emergency crowdfunding campaign to raise urgently needed funds to keep the unit 
afloat please visit and forward the link to the emergency crowd funding campaign.

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