More Than 5,000 Israeli Lone Soldiers Attend Biggest-Ever FIDF ‘Fun Day’
Thousands of parents of Lone Soldiers – 800 of whom are American – and FIDF supporters tuned in from across the world to watch FIDF’s live stream
SHEFAYIM, Israel, Sept. 3 – Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF), in partnership with the IDF, hosted a ‘Fun Day’ at Israel’s largest water park today for about 5,000 ‘Lone Soldiers’ – including foreign-born volunteers from around the world who have left their homes, families and friends to serve in the IDF. Thousands of parents of Lone Soldiers and FIDF supporters tuned in to FIDF’s live stream early this morning to watch the soldiers enjoying themselves in real time.
“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. “Their commitment and dedication, despite the challenges they face, bring pride and hope to all FIDF supporters across the U.S. and in Panama – and for that we thank them and the entire IDF. The soldiers look after Israel and the entire Jewish people, and it is our duty to look after them.”
There are some 6,073 Lone Soldiers serving in the IDF today, and about 800 of them are American. While native-born Israelis usually enlist in the IDF at the age of 18, there are approximately 200 Lone Soldiers from around the world who decided to enlist at the age of 26 and above. FIDF cares for all Lone Soldiers serving in the IDF through the Lone Soldiers Program, which supports them financially, socially, and emotionally during and after their challenging military service. FIDF also sponsors flights for Lone Soldiers to visit their families and friends in their countries of origin.
The FIDF ‘Fun Day’ at the Shefayim Water Park just north of Tel Aviv benefited Lone Soldiers from all IDF units. In addition to the park’s many attractions, the ‘Fun Day’ 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. The Lone Soldiers also received essential information about life after their military service, including about the FIDF IMPACT! Scholarship Program, which grants college scholarships to Israeli combat veterans of modest means.
In addition to the more than 5,000 Lone Soldiers were hundreds of IDF unit commanders, high-ranking officers, and FIDF supporters who attended the festivities to meet and personally thank these brave men and women in uniform for serving despite numerous challenges.
About Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF):
FIDF was established in 1981 by a group of Holocaust survivors as a 501(C)(3) not-for-profit organization with the mission of providing and supporting educational, social, cultural, and recreational programs and facilities for the heroic men and women of the IDF. Today, FIDF has more than 120,000 loyal supporters, and 15 regional offices throughout the U.S. and Panama. FIDF proudly offers its support to the IDF soldiers and their families through a variety of unique and innovative programs. These opportunities reinforce the vital bond between the communities in the United States, the soldiers of the IDF, and the State of Israel. For more information, please visit: www.fidf.org.
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