‘I Feel at Home With the People Here’ Eyden Price, Daughter of Kemp Mill, Makes Aliyah to Join the Army

From left: Sarina Price, Eyden Price and Daphne Lazar Price. Photos courtesy of Daphne Lazar Price

Daphne Price can’t count the number of times she’s been to Israel as a student, family member and Jewish professional, but her most recent trip in December is one she will never forget.

That’s the trip that brought her to Israel a few days before her older daughter, Eyden, 19, and then back to Ben Gurion, to welcome Eyden Price as a new olah (immigrant) and soldier recruit.

The Prices have long ties both to the Washington area and to Israel where many relatives live and have spent multiple summers and holidays in Israel.

This time, Daphne Price came to Israel earlier than Eyden Price to bring her second child, daughter Sarina, 16, back to school.

A student in the Naale high school program, where she boards with other high school from around the world, Sarina Price, who like Eyden Price attended the Berman Hebrew Academy, started high school in Israel last year but has waited since the Hamas attack on Oct. 7, like so many other students, for school to begin.

Next month, Eyden Price is joining Garin Tzabar, a pre-army program in Israel and will be drafted into the army in the spring. Eyden Price said that especially since the Oct. 7 attack she has an overwhelming call and sense of price to serve the Jewish people via the army. She hopes to be a dental assistant in the army, following in the footsteps of her paternal grandfather, a dentist in Maryland.

Asked how her determination to serve came about, Eyden Price said, “My family, my school, my community, camps were all what brought me here, and now I’m thrilled to be of service to the Jewish people. There is no other country I want to live in.”

Call Eyden Price’s family proud. Her father, David, saw her off from the U.S., and she was greeted in Israel not only by her mom and sister but by “a whole gaggle of friends and relatives,” said Daphne Price, who adds that Eyden Price making aliyah is not such a surprise.

“At Berman, there is intensive Israel education and, as a family, we traveled here so much regardless of whatever was going on here,” she said. “From a young age, both girls have been comfortable in Israel.”

Daphne Price said they have their favorite restaurants, close relationships with cousins and friends made along the way. She said she didn’t know her daughter was interested in the army, “but we’re so proud of her that she will be enlisting.”

“We told both our daughters after the war broke out,” said Daphne Price, “that if they wanted to push their coming to Israel off a bit, there was not rush, but they both wanted to be here, and we fully support them.”

Sarina Price said she chose to come to Israel for high school because a friend had and seemed to enjoy it so much. The war has not deterred her: “I still love Israel just as much if not more.” She’s honest in saying that it can be hard when the sirens go off, “but we’ve prepared for it and know what to do.”

Sarina Price hopes to be in Israel past high school and join the army like her sister or do national service. The entire Price family was in Israel when the war broke out and pitched in including baking cookies for soldiers. Students at Sarina Price’s school prepare meals for soldiers and recently a former camp counselor, serving in Gaza, popped into school to surprise her.

Daphne and David Price plan to visit regularly and Daphne Price, the executive director of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance will lead a mission to Israel in early January — one of at least three missions enroute to Israel for volunteering and support. The Kemp Mill Synagogue and the Berman Hebrew Academy also have planned missions that include helping with crops, visiting army bases and giving support to the country.

Daphne Price and other JOFA board members recently attended meetings at the United Nations to raise awareness about the rape and killings, especially of women, by Hamas on Oct. 7. During the mission in Israel, the group will meet with survivors of the attack and family members of hostages, study text with Israeli clergy and volunteer to pick crops “and wherever we are needed.”

Asked how she feels about being in Israel, soldier to be Eyden Price said, “I feel at home with the people here in Israel.”

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