DATE: MAY 15, 2019

Miriam Serkez, 20, a medic in Jerusalem with the Israeli emergency medical service Magen David Adom, immigrated recently from New Jersey.

Serkez’s job is part of her national service in Israel — an alternative to military service for religious women. She wasn’t forced to do this work. As a recent immigrant who came to Israel on her own, Serkez could have avoided serving.

“It’s hard for some of my friends to understand what I’m doing,” Serkez said. “National service is not a concept in America. There you finish high school and go into college. There’s no giving back.”

As a volunteer medic, Serkez works eight-hour shifts, sometimes starting as early as 6 a.m.

“We get sent to anything and everything, usually car accidents,” Serkez said. “A few months ago there was a terrorist attack on Har Habayit” — the Temple Mount. “This morning I did CPR on someone.”