A new project launched Monday in Israel will provide lone soldiers with housing that combines employment before enlistment in military service. Israel's lone soldiers come from over 60 countries and speak dozens of languages.
The housing program is a collaboration between "Big Brother for Lone Soldiers" and the Israeli hotel chains Dan and Isrotel. An event Monday to celebrate the launch was attended by notable guests and speakers including former Chief Rabbi of Israel Yisrael Meir Lau, Chairman of the Association of Friends of the 'Ach Gadol' association Reuven Schiff, actor and singer Tzachi Levi - who was himself a lone soldier and CEO of the association Daniel Aharon.
Lau told the lone soldiers in attendance, "I wish you a good reception, that you feel at home here from the first day. I congratulate you that you go to the bases, come back safely and when the day comes, you will establish a home in Israel yourself."
The program is intended to offer a solution to the the gap lone soldiers face between the pre-recruitment period and the military service. It is set to offer language and culture assistance. Prior to the launch, lone soldiers had to wait until close to the day of their recruitment to begin bureaucratic procedures such as housing and financial support.
More than half of IDF lone soldiers in financial debt, says army
More than half of all 7,700 lone soldiers in the IDF, 4,372, have submitted requests for grants from the army due to financial debts, according to information supplied by the IDF to the Aliyah, Absorption and Diaspora Committee in March.
Zvika Klein contributed to this report