The Lone Soldier Project — Sun Lakes Jewish Congregation offers community education programs

Lone Soldiers celebrating Hanukah at Chayal el Chayal

Lone Soldiers celebrating Hanukah at Chayal el Chayal

Michael Cohen

Lone Soldiers are young men and women from around the world who volunteer to serve in the Israel Defense Forces for two or three years. They typically leave the comfort and safety of their homes, putting themselves in harm’s way because they are committed to the survival of Israel as the Jewish homeland. Approximately 3500 to 4000 Lone Soldiers from outside of Israel serve at any one time.

It is mandatory for Israeli men and woman to serve in the military for two or three years and then be in the Reserves for an extended period of time. Because Israel is a very small country, many, if not most, soldiers go to their family home on weekends for Shabbat and for Jewish and national holidays.

While some Lone Soldiers have adoptive families to go “home” to, most do not and are faced with loneliness on weekend, holidays and when on leave. Lone Soldiers Centers throughout Israel provide a “home away from home” at these times, where Lone Soldiers can enjoy and learn from others, do their laundry and celebrate Shabbat and holidays in a warm, hospitable environment where lifelong friendships develop. The Sun Lake Jewish Congregation, Lone Soldier Project’s Israeli partner is Chayal el Chayal (Soldier to Soldier) has a center in Jerusalem.

This Lone Soldier Project has two major goals. The first is to support current Lone Soldiers who are on active duty with the Israel Defense Forces by collecting personal $25.00 donations to send them personal care packages and knitted hats for winter assignments and by writing letters to them including appreciation of the role they are playing in the security of the State of Israel.

The project’s second goal is to raise awareness in the community regarding the choices that these courageous and dedicated young people make to the Jewish homeland. To achieve this goal the project is offering to come to your organization or religious group and provide a program with videos regarding the important role these brave and dedicated young people to the security and defense of Israel. We will also ask your group to write letters to these young people. Receiving mail boosts these soldiers’ morale and energizes them to continue the hard work before them.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please email [email protected] or call 480 895 4660.