Lone soldiers may be a long way from home, but on Thursday night they weren't far from the turkey. At the American Jewish Committee's ninth annual Lone Soldiers Thanksgiving dinner, 30 soldiers from all over the army reflected on Thanksgiving and stuffing.Â Most soldiers said they missed football and home cooking, but they were thankful to be in Israel as well.
"I want to thank my parents for supporting me in that I joined the army, because I know that it's hard for parents to do," said Asher Berkman, a 20-year-old soldier from Detroit currently serving in Givati.
"We're happy to make the soldiers who are here alone happy, to be like their family, so they feel at home... so they have a feeling of being together and being a family," said Tzippi Barnea, the operations director of the AJC Jerusalem Office.
In Tel Aviv, David Matlin and the Michael Levin Memorial Center hosted more than 100 lone soldiers at an open potluck.
"We've been planning for two weeks and in the kitchen for two days," Matlin said. The group has held Thanksgiving dinner for their group of expatriate friends for three or four years, but this was the first time they opened it up to lone soldiers everywhere. They were expecting about 50 people, but 100 showed up.
"It got a little larger than we anticipated," said Matlin.