Alone, in uniform, together

Thousands of young Jews from across the globe arrive each to volunteer for army service, creating new families from scratch.

By RUTH EGLAS
May 19, 2011 14:45
IDF lone soldiers

IDF lone soldiers 521. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
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It’s Friday evening in Jerusalem and just a few minutes walk from the Gilad Schalit protest tent – set up by his family and friends outside the Prime Minister’s Residence – the Jerusalem Great Synagogue is hosting its monthly Shabbat dinner in honor of some 250 young immigrants.

What is ironic about this gathering and its proximity to the camp set up to remind the public of the soldier kidnapped in 2006 is that those enjoying a celebratory Shabbat meal belong to a unique group: lone soldiers, young Jews here without their families, who have volunteered to serve in the army.

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