Photo Credit: Shahar Azran
Sofa Landver, Minister of Immigrant Absorption and Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Nefesh B’Nefesh with Lone Soldiers at Yom Siddurim

Over 1,500 Lone Solders from 60 countries gathered Thursday in Tel Aviv for an exclusive one-stop personal errands day, Yom Siddurim, organized by the Nefesh B’Nefesh – FIDF Lone Soldiers Program. From driving tests and banking, to taxes and everything in between, the sometimes arduous process of maneuvering through Israeli bureaucracy was streamline in a truly unique and exclusive day for all Lone Soldiers. The event was organized in cooperation with the IDF Human Resources Department, the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, the Ministry of Interior, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael and JNF-USA.

Special guests included Moshe Kahlon, Finance Minister of Israel; Sofa Landver, Minister of Immigrant Absorption of Israel; Aryeh Deri, Minister of the Development of the Negev and Galilee; Deputy Minister Michael Oren; MK Dr. Avraham Neguise, Chairman of the Immigration and Absorption Committee, as well as, MK Meirav Ben-Ari, MK Yulia Malinovsky and MK Yoel Razvozov. Lone Soldiers were celebrated for their service to the state of Israel as over 40 representatives from various government departments and agencies assisted them with their every bureaucratic need.

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All Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Lone Soldiers – immigrants who come to Israel without their immediate families and volunteer to serve in the IDF – are entitled once every two months to take a personal errands day. This day is an important opportunity to attend to personal affairs, such as bureaucratic paperwork, banking and other essential matters. However, for most Lone Soldiers this is often not a sufficient amount of time to complete their necessary errands which led to the initiation of this dedicated day. After the success of the inaugural Yom Siddurim back in 2014, the now yearly event has become an essential mainstay in assisting Lone Soldiers in easily adapting to their new lives in Israel.

“As our Lone Soldiers Program continues to grow, we are proud to expand the ways we support our brave Lone Soldiers, such as help them minimize the time they have to spend on personal errands on their precious time away from the army,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Nefesh B’Nefesh. “For me it is emotional to see these incredible Olim, speaking multiple languages, gathered under one roof, unified in Zionism and dedicated service. This day is aimed at showing them how grateful we are.”

The Nefesh B’Nefesh-FIDF Lone Soldiers Program successfully recruited the essential civilian agencies whose services are needed by Lone Soldiers to convene on the same day, under one roof to assist the Lone Soldiers with their personal matters. Among the agencies that participated in the day were: the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, the Student Licensing Office, Ministry of Housing, Automobile License Authority, Israel Tax Authority, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Ha’aguda Lema’an Hachayal, Discharged Soldiers Guidance Department, Electric Company of Israel, Ktseen Ha’air, the Post Office, Bank of Israel and more.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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