Alan Marshall Chersky, son of Lucille and Joseph, was born in Los Angeles on February 16, 1951 and was raised in an traditional household in Beverly Hills where he attended Jewish elementary school. When he was eighteen Alan decided to come to Israel and, following his aliyah in May 1969, he was sent to an ulpan at Kibbutz HaZorea. Although quiet and introverted, he slowly integrated into the life of the kibbutz. He was especially fond of playing with the children and teaching them baseball.
Alan's induction into the army in August 1970 presented him with the same difficulties faced by many olim, especially chayalim boddedim, adjusting to the rigidity and demands of military life in a new country, in a language which was still new to him. Despite the challenges of basic training, he went on to officers' training and became the first American oleh to complete the officers' course so soon after making aliyah and he subsequently signed on to extend his service by one year.
During the Yom Kippur War Alan served as an artillery officer on the Southern Front. In his letter dated October 15, 1973, he wrote to his parents: “This is the ninth day of the war … I do not know how long this letter will last until it reaches you, but I hope it will be fast, because I do not want you to worry me too much. To visit you in May when I finish my army service, which is strange, but now I feel as if I have achieved some kind of self-realization, and that’s why I came here a few years ago … ” On October 18, 1973 in an interview by a reporter for the US television station NBC he said: 'I feel that I am part of the battle for something of value. I don't think that there are many things of value in the world. If there is some goal which inspires a young person, especially a Jew, this is the place … (although) I don't like to fight, there is something here that needs to be done and I am more than ready to do it.
On October 19, 1973 Alan's unit was among the first to attempt to cross the bridges which had been constructed across the Suez Canal. His tank was hit in a fierce battle and jumped into another tank to return fire. The second tank was also hit and Alan was killed. He was survived by his parents, two sisters and a brother. He is buried on Har Herzl, in Jerusalem.
Kibbutz HaZorea published a booklet in his memory.