How One Soldier Saved Many Lives

February 2, 2024

Captain Rebecca Baruch was a Dutch immigrant who made Aliyah at the age of 18 in 2017.

She spoke to the Christian Science Monitor in 2021 about her experience as a lone soldier and the loneliness of graduating from officer training school during the pandemic, when her family couldn’t travel to Israel for the ceremony. She went on to lead an all-female field intelligence unit in 2020. Ironically, during her first year in the IDF, Baruch lived at Kibbutz Sa’ad in the Gaza envelope. She then decided to enlist as a combat soldier and completed officer training.

“I think women make good combat soldiers in general because we push to prove ourselves, our worth,” she explained. “Inside our unit, we don’t have to prove anything because we build each other up through our hard work and camaraderie.”

On Oct. 7, she volunteered to rejoin her reserve unit. After serving a few weeks she left to attend a Habonim youth camp in South Africa as a counselor. She returned to Israel on Jan. 1 with what her family thought was a cold and rejoined her unit. Days later, still feeling ill, she rejoined her family in Tel Aviv, where she suffered a seizure. She died Sunday at Sheba from a severe streptococcus infection.  She was 24 years old.

“In line with Rebecca’s last wish her organs were donated to people that needed them,” her father, Robbert Baruch, wrote on Facebook. “Whilst today is one of the saddest days of our lives, the fact that our sister and daughter continue to help people after her death fills us with pride and gratitude.” here

Multiple lives will be saved by her decision, as was by her service.

If you want to see these brave soldiers in person, volunteer at Sheba, donate blood, help a beleaguered family farm, and hear from some of the top analysts and officials in Israel, join us on a volunteer Mission of Healing this month, February 18-22. More information can be found here

May Rebecca’s memory be for a blessing and may her family be comforted among the mourners of Jerusalem.

Am Yisrael Chai,


Don't miss out.

Sign up our weekly newsletter for the latest updates on medical advances and humanitarian efforts of Israel.