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Labor Minister To Allocate 10 Million Shekels For IDF Lone Soldiers

The Israeli government plans to allocate some 10 million shekels in funds to assist discharged IDF lone soldiers

The Israeli government plans to allocate some 10 million shekels ($2.7 million) in funds from the National Insurance Institute to assist discharged IDF lone soldiers, Labor Minister Yoav Ben-Tzur announced this week.

A “lone soldier” is defined by the Israel Defense Forces as one without parents in Israel, or who is estranged from his or her parents.

According to the Lone Soldier Center NGO, 7,000 lone soldiers currently serve in the IDF.

The labor minister’s new project, MiKan (“From Here”), aims to support newly discharged lone soldiers, specifically those suffering from mental health problems, in adjustment to civilian life. Among other initiatives, Ben-Tzur intends to establish emergency housing.

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Twelve future lone soldiers from North America at Ben-Gurion Airport after their arrival on a Nefesh B’Nefesh Group Aliyah Flight, Aug. 10, 2021. In 2022 alone, more than 400 lone soldiers were released before the end of their service due to mental health issues. YONIT SCHILLER.

In 2022 alone, more than 400 lone soldiers were released before the end of their service due to mental health issues.

“Signing the budget for the construction of this important project is one of the easiest but most critical aspects of my position,” said Ben-Tzur. “Lone soldiers who are forced to leave the IDF due to a mental health condition have never been given adequate support from the state.

NefeshB8217NefeshLon
Twelve future lone soldiers from North America at Ben-Gurion Airport after their arrival on a Nefesh B’Nefesh Group Aliyah Flight, Aug. 10, 2021. In 2022 alone, more than 400 lone soldiers were released before the end of their service due to mental health issues. YONIT SCHILLER.

“Now, for the first time, we will build a home treatment framework for them that will include accommodation, guidance in finding future housing, employment, and education,” he said.

“About 45% of the 7000 lone soldiers serving in the IDF are new immigrants, coming from Jewish communities all over the world. Another 50% are Israelis who are orphans or that come from low socio-economic backgrounds,” said the Lone Soldier Center. 

There are some lone soldiers that come from ultra orthodox neighborhoods and are shunned by their families and communities because they decided to go to the army, Lone Soldiers added.

Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate

Edited by Priscilla Jepchumba and Judy J. Rotich

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