Soldiers site on their vehicle as the sun sets over the Negev..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The army will hold its largest pre-enlistment event at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds on Wednesday.
Presented by the Yoter Club, part of the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers, the party will feature musical performances, networking opportunities, and more to young men and women from Israel and the Diaspora.
The event will begin at 5 p.m., and will provide the opportunity for prospective soldiers to meet their future comrades.
“The idea is to connect all those people who are going to join the army to salute them, to give them a big celebration,” said Avigdor Kahalani, chairman of the association.
He is a former brigadier-general and public security minister and recipient of the Medal of Valor, the nation’s highest military honor.
Musicians including Mosh Ben-Ari, Ivri Lider, Kobi Peretz and Yuval Dayan will perform for the new recruits, many of whom are just out of high school and will enter the army in July or August.
Still, the event is more than just a big party, explained Kahalani. “We give them the chance to meet the people who do the programming, who make the decisions on who will go to which unit so they can ask questions and get information.”
Representatives of specific units will attend, to speak to the youngsters about their future. “The idea is to bring units from the army so the soldiers can convince [the recruits] to join their unit, meet each other, and discuss what happens next,” he said.
Though this is the Yoter Club’s largest event, the organization provides other services for recruits and soldiers.
“The club takes care of all of them, supporting them from when they’re 17 years old and giving them all they need before the army,” said Kahalani. Those services includes help with bank accounts and financial consulting, as well as guidance through the recruitment process.
Despite the somber news that three youngsters were found murdered by terrorists on Monday, the event will move forward to celebrate the new soldiers who will fight for Israel, Kahalani said.
“Of course we will mention it, think about it, talk about the three kids, but we will continue the event,” he said.
“We have many reasons to stop every event every day, but the people we are celebrating want to serve in the army and we have to give them the courage to do that.”