A special event for 80 new soldier Olim who will be drafted into the IDF after Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day), took place on Wednesday at the FIDF/Nefesh B’Nefesh Lone Soldiers Center in Jerusalem.
The soon-to-be Lone Soldiers hail from countries across the globe including Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ethiopia, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Moldova, the Netherlands, Peru, Russia, Switzerland, Turkmenistan, UK, South Africa, Sweden, Ukraine, Uruguay, USA, and Uzbekistan.
“I am so proud to see all these young men and women who made Aliyah with a personal mission to serve the State of Israel,” stated Minister of Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver. “These young men and women help guarantee the continued existence of the State of Israel, and so we must guarantee to their success and integration into Israeli society. I wish you all a meaningful and productive service and most importantly that you come home safe and sound.”
At the event, soldiers were awarded grants to help with their transition and enjoyed a barbecue.
“While the country is preparing for Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut, the most Zionist days of the year, we are honored and proud to celebrate with these 80 young future soldiers who are about to join the IDF,” said Nefesh B’Nefesh Vice Chairman Erez Halfon. “These brave young men and women are the future of the State of Israel. All of them have made Aliyah to Israel with one main cause, which is to protect the Jewish Homeland, and we all salute them, and promise that we will help them to go through their service successfully and to act as their family and home.”
“The FIDF/Nefesh B’Nefesh program has assisted me every step of the way towards fulfilling my dream of serving in the IDF and serving and protecting my country,” said Eziz Halykov, a 21 year old Oleh from Turkmenistan. “Where I come from I had to hide my identity and now I am proud to be able to protect our Jewish State.”
Currently there are some 2,800 Lone Soldiers who made Aliyah without their parents, and are serving in a range of positions in the IDF. For these idealistic soldiers, the draft process is a challenging and intense experience that often involves a difficult process of adapting to both military service, and an independent lifestyle in Israel.