Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, in partnership with the IDF, hosted “Fun Day” for about 5,000 IDF lone soldiers at Israel’s largest water park, Shefayim, just north of Tel Aviv. Lone soldiers are foreign-born volunteers from around the world who have left their homes, families, and friends to serve in the IDF. There were hundreds of IDF unit commanders, high-ranking officers, and FIDF supporters, along with the lone soldiers.
The day featured a pool party with leading Israeli DJ Eran Barnea, gift packages, an all-day barbecue, and a concert by the band Hatikvah 6. The lone soldiers also received information about life after their military service, including the FIDF IMPACT! Scholarship Program, which grants college scholarships to Israeli combat veterans of modest means.
Thousands of parents of lone soldiers and FIDF supporters tuned in to FIDF’s livestream 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,” CEO Maj. Gen. (Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir, the FIDF’s national director, said. “This special day saluted them — and offered a brief respite.” There are some 6,073 lone soldiers serving in the IDF today, and about 800 of them are American.