One June 27 — “Fun Day” — 5,000 lone soldiers launched Israel Defense Forces Appreciation Week in Israel at Shefayim Water Park, the nation’s largest waterpark, just outside of Tel Aviv. There are about 6,116 lone soldiers from 80 countries in the IDF, including 810 from the United States.
The day of rest and recuperation was hosted by Friends of the Israel Defense Forces in partnership with the IDF and Yachad Le’maan Ha’chayal (the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers and the LIBI Fund).
In addition to the park’s attractions, the day included a pool party with Israeli DJ Eran Barnea, access to game and fitness areas, and an all-day smorgasbord featuring barbecue and desserts. The lone soldiers also received 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. IDF unit commanders, non-commissioned officers, high-ranking military officials, and FIDF supporters also attended the “Fun Day” festivities to meet and thank the soldiers for serving. Go to fidf.org.