Gathering of Elite IDF Soldiers Shows They’re Far From ‘Lone’
JNS.org – More than 120 soldiers from 27 countries participated in the Givati Brigade Association’s Lone Soldiers Day at Metzudat Yoav near Kibbutz Sde Yoav on Sunday, filled with interactive workshops, discussions and activities.
The program serves troops without family members in Israel as well as haredi soldiers who have been rejected by their families in Israel and need support despite not qualifying for lone soldier benefits.
The program began with an overview of several organizations that support lone soldiers both during military service and after discharge. Soldiers then conducted 1-on-1 interviews with Givati Brigade Association representatives and Brigade welfare officers to help map out their individual needs. The scope of the discussions broadly ranged from financial challenges to language barriers, to lack of community support.
Strategies explored included providing subsidies for off-base housing and other daily living expenses; enlisting civilian volunteers to provide soldiers with Shabbat meals; emotional guidance; and establishing for soldiers an overall familial environment.
“These soldiers are heroes, they are doing the ultimate act of service by defending Israel’s borders and it is our responsibility to provide supplemental care for them so that they can put their full attention on the important mission they have,” said Givati Brigade Association chairman Itzhak Levit. “Our brigade is a family and this event was all about giving them the tools and support to help in their daily life.”
The Givati Brigade Association honors the legacy of and provides support to the soldiers of the elite infantry unit.