I have written very often about the Soldier's Hospitality Hut in Gush Etzion. We call it the Pina Chama (Cozy Corner). This past year the Pina Chama celebrated its tenth anniversary: http://voices-magazine.blogspot.com/2011/06/ten-years-to-pina-chama.html
Israeli Defense Forces soldiers (from the Hebron area in the south to Bethlehem in the north to Eastern Gush Etzion and west to the area of the Lamed Hei/Bet Shemesh) stop in to the Pina Chama for home-baked cakes and a good word from the "Dodot" (aunties) who volunteer there every day from 7 AM to 9 PM.
Soldiers serving in this area come from all over the country. Sometimes the volunteers at Pina Chama are the first settlers or religious people they have ever met. B"H they all have positive amazing experiences getting to know the volunteers of the Pina Chama.
Over the past ten years thousands of soldiers have been served at the hospitality hut. They are soldiers in the regular army and those in reserves, officers and privates, soldiers from every unit and every branch of the armed forces. Everyone is welcome and spoiled equally.
Last week famed photographer Gershon Ellinson was in the Pina Chama when a reserve soldier from Netanya came in. He took his cake and coffee to one of the tables and opened the Pina Chama Visitor's Book. He sat perusing its pages, filled with photos of volunteers, events and soldiers who have come and gone through the Pina Chama's doors. And lo and behold, who does he see being served in Pina Chama six years ago, but himself!!??!!
Today reserve soldier Shabtai is married and living far away. He was very excited to be called to reserve duty in Gush Etzion and to have the opportunity to return to the Pina Chama, and experience once again the warmth and hospitality of Efrat/Gush Etzion residents.