Faces of The Fellowship: Talia

The Fellowship  |  August 28, 2019

Talia Starr in uniform smiling directly at the camera.

As people come and go through Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate, 20-year-old Talia is ever vigilant. She has to be. She serves in Israel’s Border Patrol, and she is charged with protecting Jerusalem.

“It was always a dream of mine to serve in Israel,” she says. Talia is originally from Silver Spring, Maryland, and moved to the Holy Land with her family to fulfill their dream of making aliyah (immigrating to Israel).

Today, she patrols the cobblestone streets of Jerusalem’s Old City. For some 3,000 years this hub of faith and culture has been one of the most important places in the world. This bustling part of Jerusalem is filled with markets, local residents, and thousands of tourists, many of them Christians who come to visit the holy sites.

Still, terrorist attacks towards Jews are always a threat and can happen quickly. Rocks are thrown. Fights break out. Stabbings occur. The protection of the Border Police is critical.

Perched above the Damascus Gate (Sha’ar Shkhem in Hebrew), that she calls a “hot spot” for activity, she describes her mission. “We’re here to make sure that nothing happens, and if something does happen, then we act quickly,” she says.

“For me, living here is a huge honor. I’m also the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, so the fact that I have the opportunity to defend the land is not only an honor, it’s also an obligation.

“The fact that there are people in the U.S. supporting me here means the world,” she says. “Thank you—it doesn’t go unnoticed.”