Yossi Giller, Shlomo Kroopnick, Sophie Dubitsky, and Shevy Schwartz, all 19, are lone soldiers originally from Bergen County. They were among the more than 1,600 lone soldiers from 70 countries who gathered in Tel Aviv last week for the 5th annual “Yom Siddurim” (personal errands day). The day, hosted by Nefesh B’Nefesh, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, and the IDF Human Resources Department, gives participants a one-stop shop to complete a wide range of errands.
Lone soldiers often find themselves without the time to complete their basic personal errands and to navigate the often-arduous process of dealing with the Israeli bureaucracy. This day gave them both access and time to do so.
Nefesh B’Nefesh and FIDF representatives were on site to provide guidance on acclimating into post-army life.
The day is in cooperation with the ministries of Aliyah and Integration and Interior, the Jewish Agency, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael, JNF-USA, and with the assistance of Yahad.
Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Minister of Aliyah and Integration Sofa Landver, and Minister of Transportation Israel Katz all were there. “I was privileged to spend this morning at the moving Yom Siddurim event held in honor of lone soldier olim serving in the IDF,” Mr. Lieberman said.” From New York, Moscow, Paris, and around the world, these soldiers have love and uncompromising commitment to the Jewish state. The thousands of lone soldiers are valuable each in their own way, all serving on behalf of the State of Israel. Am Israel Chai!”
“It’s very important for us to assist lone soldiers who have made aliyah, both emotionally and practically,” Ms. Landver said. “The ministry’s activities in recent years have been aimed at supporting these soldiers financially and with designated projects to assist them before, during, and after their army service.”
“The goal of our lone soldiers program is to ensure that every lone soldier is provided with a strong support system while assisting them through every step of their army service,” Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, Nefesh B’Nefesh’s co-founder and executive director, said.
More than 3,000 lone soldiers from around the world, including over 1,000 from North America, are serving in the IDF now. In 2017, 358 lone soldiers made aliyah through Nefesh B’Nefesh.