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December 1, 2015 / 19 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘Lone Soldiers’

‘Lone Soldiers’ Get a Treat in ‘Fun Day’ At Water Park

Friday, September 4th, 2015

More than 5,000 soldiers were treated to a “Fun Day” at Israel’s largest water park Thursday through the cooperation and funding of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) and the military.

There are 6,073 Lone Soldiers serving in the IDF today, and about 800 of them are American.

Native-born Israelis usually enlist in the IDF at the age of 18, but there are approximately 200 Lone Soldiers from around the world who decided to enlist at the age of 26 and above.

FIDF supports lone soldiers financially, socially, and emotionally and sponsors flights for them to visit their families and friends in their countries of origin.

The Fun Day at the Shefayim Water Park north of Tel Aviv benefited Lone Soldiers from all IDF units and featured a pool party with leading Israeli DJ Eran Barnea, gift care packages, an all-day smorgasbord of barbeque and desserts and a concert by the band Hatikvah 6.

High-ranking officers also attended the festivities.

“FIDF supporters have made it their goal to serve as the adoptive family for all Lone Soldiers serving in the IDF. This special day saluted them – and offered a brief respite,” said FIDF National Director and CEO Maj. Gen. (Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir.

One-Third of Plane of ‘Olim’ to Enlist in IDF

Monday, August 11th, 2014

The next batch of new immigrants – “olim”- from the United States is scheduled to land at Ben Gurion Airport Tuesday morning, and 108 of the 338 newbies are planning to enlist directly into the IDF.

The charter flight by the Nefesh B’Nefesh group will fly 37 families, including 107 children, all of whom will be greeted by Israel’s new President, Reuven Rivlin, Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky, among other officials.

Aliyah form the United States and Canada is co-sponsored by the Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Aliyah, the Jewish national Fund (JNF) and the “Tzofim garin Tsabar” movement that oversees the enlistment of olim ready to start out their lives in Israel as soldiers.

New York Yankees president Randy Levine treated 40 of the prospective new soldiers to a baseball game as a going-away present.

Garin Tzabar: Helping Lone Soldiers Feel At Home In Israel

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

These lone soldiers, hailing from countries including the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Turkey and Azerbaijan arrived in Israel without their families to join the Israel Defense Force and help build the Jewish nation.  ’Garin’ means seed in Hebrew but can also refer to a group of people who collectively immigrated to Israel and ‘tzabar’ refers to the ‘sabra’ cactus fruit which is prickly on the outside but soft and sweet on the inside, a euphemism to describe Israelis.

The Garin Tzabar program is in charge of bringing these lone soldiers to a kibbutz or Israeli city, providing them with an adopted family, a Garin community that supports them throughout their army service and Hebrew classes to assist their immersion into the IDF.  Several months from now the new recruits will begin to serve in the Israeli Army.  The Garin Tzabar  ensures lone soldiers receive support and attention on their birthdays, during holidays, Shabbat, and their days off .

The State of Israel officially welcomed this year’s Garin Tzabar participants during a special ceremony held at Tel Aviv University. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  gave a video greeting praising these young Jewish men and women and  numerous other government officials attended the event.

MK Sofa Landver, who addressed the group, stated, “We are here to receive the immigrants and the soldiers in our country, the most wonderful country in the world. It’s you who have come to serve and defend Israel. You will change the world.” A representative of Nefesh B’Nefesh added, “It’s not just a plane ride, it’s the destination and that’s Israel. Enjoy your new life.”

Netta Gelb, a new Garin Tzabar participant, was born in the Israeli city of Netanya and has spent the past 15 years growing up in Canada. Although she has Israeli relatives,  she is leaving behind her parents and siblings.  Gelb expressed the excitement many Garin members felt when she said, “I have been really looking forward to this for a long time.”

Michael Kosky, another Garin Tzabar participant, added, “We have come here to play our chapter in Jewish history. I am part of this program. Good luck to every one here.”  A lone soldier already serving in the IDF named Ariella, who hails from an Argentine family and grew up in both America and Israel told the audience that she holds dear the “values of loyalty to the state, its people, and the Tzabar members” and said to the new recruits “If you live together, you will learn a lot.”

Eitan Press contributed to this report.

Visit United with Israel.

Trading In Maryland for the Mediterranean

Monday, August 19th, 2013

When Sergeant Brandon Berry made aliyah (immigrated to Israel), he did not come looking for the easy life. If he wanted that, he would not have left his hometown of Potomac, Maryland to serve in the army of a foreign country half a world away from his family.

Sgt. Berry also was not looking for an easy job in the IDF – he wanted to serve wherever he was most needed. He wanted to take his talent and drive with him to contribute one hundred percent.

Sgt. Berry passed all the tests to serve in the prestigious Paratroopers Brigade. Instead the American immigrant took to the sea as a member of the Israel Navy’s Dvora-class patrol boat squadron.

It is not everyday that a young man from Potomac, Maryland travels for tens of thousands of miles to join the Israel Navy. “It was clear to me that I was destined to serve in the Navy,” he said. Sgt. Berry, stationed on a base overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, is able to indulge his love for wide-open spaces every day of his service.

Aside from his thick American accent, Sgt. Berry is indistinguishable from the other soldiers at his base – completely at home on a boat with a tan to match. He credits the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers for helping him through the entire enlistment process.

“The work the association does is a blessing,” he says. AWIS helps soldiers in a number of ways, which included providing assistance to lone soldiers, running soldier homes and recreation centers, and providing support for bereaved families.

Sgt. Berry says that even though he grew up with a strong Jewish identity and attended a Jewish day school, he always felt like something was missing. Now, as a soldier for Israel, it seems he has truly come home.

Visit IDF Blog.

US and IDF (American) Soldiers Celebrate 4th of July Together

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

Thursday, July 4th, 30 North American soldiers and officers celebrated American Independence Day together with over 150 IDF lone soldiers who made Aliyah from the United States with the assistance of Nefesh B’Nefesh, the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, the Jewish Agency For Israel and Tzofim Garin Tzabar. These organizations, along with Friends of the IDF (FIDF), fund events like the Fourth of July party to build relationships with the soldiers throughout their military service and to also provide them with personal and financial support.

The celebration took place at Gordon Beach in Tel Aviv honoring the classic American traditions, including a BBQ, beer, American music and much red, white and blue.

Players from the Judean Rebels of the Israeli Football League, also founded by immigrants from the United States, joined the party as well. There are over 600 amateur and professional football players in Israel, who meet every week in different locations throughout the country to play and enjoy the game they learned back home. The vast majority of the players are immigrants who came to Israel from North America through Nefesh B’Nefesh and the Jewish Agency For Israel.

Erez Halfon vice chairman of Nefesh B’Nefesh, said: “Nefesh B’Nefesh and FIDF wanted to celebrate this day with some of the soldiers who immigrated to Israel and left behind family and friends, but are still connected to the traditions and memories.”

US and IDF Soldiers

US and IDF Soldiers

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/us-and-idf-american-soldiers-celebrate-4th-of-july-together/2013/07/07/

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