Lone soldiers in Israel - those without close family in Israel or who are not in contact with their families - face significant challenges at the best of times, and the coronavirus pandemic has piled on some more pressure.
The social-distancing regulations designed to curb the spread of the disease has also made it difficult for lone soldiers, some of whom have tested positive for Covid-19 and some of whom are in quarantine, to get hold of some basic necessities.
The Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin has been helping to provide such soldiers with extra support, providing food, electronic accessories, and hygiene products to lone soldiers in awkward situations.
Michal Berman, CEO of the center, said that in one instance, a group of three soldiers currently in quarantine in an apartment in Jerusalem were receiving food packages from the organization, but did not have a working fridge to store it in.
So the center decided to provide the three young men, who are from the ultra-Orthodox community, with a refrigerator in order to ensure that they could store their food safely.
One young man from New Jersey who is scheduled to enlist in the IDF shortly has tested positive for Covid-19 and is currently receiving treatment in an isolation ward in Hadassah Ein Karem hospital in Jerusalem.
Naturally, those in quarantine and isolation are reliant on their cell phones for information from the outside world, not to mention entertainment, but unfortunately the soon to be IDF soldier’s phone cable was not long enough to reach from the electricity socket to his bed.
Staff from the Lone Soldier Center went off to a branch of the SuperPharm chain to buy him a longer cable but when they told the store manager who they needed the cable for, he showered them with food, snacks, toiletries, and the cable, and gave it all away for free.
In total, Lone Soldier Center staff have travelled 989km to deliver basic necessities around the country to lone soldiers, and are delivering 100 meals daily to quarantined lone soldiers.
They have also delivered 54 warm meals on Shabbat, 400 hot dogs and hamburgers, and 30 pizzas to quarantined soldiers.
“Our task is [to ensure] that no soldier feels alone even though they are lone soldiers, and we feel a sense of duty in strengthening solidarity in Israel and between Jews around the world,” said Berman.
“We see it as a great merit to serve the lone soldiers and their families, and we are happy to receive any request from them at this time.”