Club for Lone Soldiers Inaugurated in Raanana.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
An upgraded clubhouse for lone immigrant soldiers in Israel has been established in Raanana with the support of JNF Australia and the Bolot family of Sydney, Auckland and London.
The club for lone soldiers at the immigrant absorption center in Raanana was inaugurated at a ceremony attended by immigrant soldiers, members of the Scout Movement, representatives of KKL-JNF and the donors.
“This place is our home, and the club is where we sit together and talk. That’s why it’s so important to us, and so we feel deeply grateful,” explained Vladislav, a young man who emigrated from Ukraine just over a year ago and who is now serving as a combat soldier in the paratroopers.
“It’s an honor for me to be a part of an important project of this kind, and I am the one who should be thanking you,” responded donor Peter Bolot.
The lone soldiers’ residential village, which was established by the Scout Movement’s Garin Tzabar group at the Jewish Agency Absorption Center in Raanana, accommodates around 150 immigrant soldiers. Garin Tzabar has established similar communal accommodation centers in kibbutzim and towns all over Israel. All in all, 1,200 soldiers are currently taking part in the program, and over four hundred others join each year.
The immigrants arrive from all parts of the world, including North America, Europe, Australia, South America, South Africa and the Former Soviet Union. These young Zionists have left their former lives behind and immigrated to Israel in order to serve in the IDF. Most enlist in combat units, and around 70% of them choose to remain in the country after they have completed their military service.
“These soldiers have left their homes and families and immigrated to Israel in order to serve in the army here,” said Gary Vitkin, Executive Director of the Tzabar Scouts Global Division. “The club will contribute to their wellbeing and serve as a meeting place where they can enjoy their free time and lend support to one another.”
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