Minister Yoaz Hendel runs 5K with incoming lone soldiers

A group of some 80 young men and women will soon enlist as Lone Soldiers, joining 3,500 Lone Soldiers from around the world under the Nefesh B’Nefesh-Friends of the IDF (FIDF) Lone Soldiers Program.

MK Yoaz Hendel runs with incoming lone soldiers (photo credit: YONIT SCHILLER)
MK Yoaz Hendel runs with incoming lone soldiers
(photo credit: YONIT SCHILLER)
Two weeks after making aliyah, some 15 future lone soldiers joined Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel last week in a five-kilometer run in Jerusalem in advance of their induction into the IDF.
Hendel expressed interest in meeting a group of recent olim (new immigrants) who were planning to enlist in the army. But he requested that the meeting take place in a less-conventional format – as a pre-army fitness-training session.
Incoming Lone Soldiers training
The olim lined up in front of a beautiful Jerusalem sunset as they began a five-km. run with the minister. Following the run, they continued with a brief physical-training session in preparation for their soon-to-be IDF service. The soldiers concluded the evening with a candid conversation about their upcoming induction into the IDF and received tips and advice.
The olim are part of a group of some 80 young men and women who will soon enlist as lone soldiers, those volunteering to serve in the IDF without immediate family living in Israel. They are joining 3,500 lone soldiers from around the world under the Nefesh B’Nefesh-Friends of the IDF (FIDF) Lone Soldiers Program.

Once they become Israeli citizens, they enlist in the IDF as required of all Israelis at the age of 18. The group landed in Israel two weeks ago through Nefesh B’Nefesh and in cooperation with the Immigration and Absorption Ministry, the Jewish Agency, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael and JNF-USA.
“There are those who would rather emphasize the friction between the Diaspora Jewish community and Israel,” Hendel said. “But instead, we should salute these young new olim who have packed their bags and moved to Israel out of pure Zionism and are helping to strengthen this relationship. It is beyond inspiring.”
“Nothing makes me prouder than to run tonight with an Israeli flag overlooking Jerusalem,” said Zachary Margulis, originally from California, who participated in the run. “I’m honored and privileged to have been welcomed into this country with open arms and am lucky to serve in this beautiful land.”
 
MK Yoaz Hendel with incoming lone soldiers (photo credit: YONIT SCHILLER)MK Yoaz Hendel with incoming lone soldiers (photo credit: YONIT SCHILLER)