The local families of five lone soldiers were honored at a Yom Ha’atzmaut Shabbat celebration at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly on April 28.
(A lone soldier is an Israel Defense Forces serviceman or woman serving in Israel without immediate family in the country.)
In partnership with the Leonard and Syril Rubin Early Childhood Center and the JCC’s Senior Department, the ECC Parent Association Mitzvah Committee presented books of thank you notes and pictures created by the students to show their gratitude for the soldiers’ service. The children also collected tzedakah to buy presents for the soldiers and their families.
“The Kaplen JCC was thrilled to celebrate an intergenerational Shabbat, joining our seniors, Early Childhood Center kids, and the families of Lone Soldiers, with the Lone Soldiers joining us via the magic of Zoom,” said JCC CEO Steve Rogers. “The JCC loves and supports Israel. For us, it is hard to imagine a greater love for Israel than that exhibited by the young adults who leave the safety of the United States and travel to Israel to serve in the Israel Defense Forces.
“The event was a true celebration of unity and community spirit,” he said. “We were delighted to see people from all walks of life come together to show their support for our Lone Soldiers and their families.
“It was terrific for us to have the opportunity to celebrate these remarkable soldiers and their parents as part of our ongoing celebration of the 75th anniversary of Israel’s independence.”