VOLUNTEERS FROM the Lone Soldier Center 370.
(photo credit: Courtesy: Lone Soldier Center)
The amount of money for rent that lone soldiers receive must increase, Knesset
Immigration Absorption and Diaspora Committee chairman Yoel Razbozov (Yesh Atid)
said this week.
A Knesset Research and Information Institute document
presented to the committee on Tuesday showed that the monthly stipend of NIS
1,448-NIS 1,649 that IDF soldiers without family in Israel receive to pay rent
was decided six years ago, and was not updated according to rising housing
prices. In addition, the amount does not change according to where the soldier
is stationed, so that someone who has to be in Tel Aviv every day receives the
same funding as someone serving in the periphery, despite the disparity in
Chaya Adler, head of the Service Conditions Department in
the IDF, said that lone soldiers’ monthly allowance would go up by 21 percent
next year, but rent money would not increase.
There are 3,200 lone
soldiers in Israel – 1,500 from the former Soviet Union, 1,300 from the US, and
the rest from other countries.
Ya’acov Danon, head of the IDF department
in the Immigration and Absorption Ministry, said that in his opinion, the most
important service lone soldiers receive is guidance, but that “people who
provide moral support [to lone soldiers] are missing in my opinion, and it would
be great if there were more of them and they were more present.”
also called on the IDF and the government to make it easier for lone soldiers to
learn their rights, such as the rent money to which they are
Three couples, at least one of each pair being a lone soldier,
attended the meeting and complained about the policy in which lone soldiers lose
their benefits when they get married.
“After getting married, a lone
soldier can’t live with three or four roommates and needs even more help with
rent,” Menahem Semel, a former lone soldier, said. “We also lose the benefit of
a free flight abroad to visit our families.”
Razbozov called to change
the rules so that they would apply to married as well as unmarried lone
“We want to give lone soldiers a good experience in their army
service and time in Israel so they convince their families to move here, too,”