“And it shall come to pass in the day that Hashem shall give thee rest from thy travail, and from thy trouble, and from the hard service wherein thou wast made to serve” Isaiah 14:3 (The Israel Bible™)
Israel’s soldiers are arguably the hardest-working service people in the world. Being on constant high alert against terror and war while in full uniform under the blazing Middle East sun, decompressing from their stress and having an opportunity to cool down, both physically and emotionally, is crucial for their well-being. Recognizing this important need, Yahad-United for Israel’s Soldiers, through the generous donations of sponsors, organized two weeks of fun, treats and relaxation for its soldiers.
“Israel’s soldiers were so appreciative of these weeks of fun,” expressed General (res.) Yehiel Gozal, CEO Yahad-United for Israel’s Soldiers, the only Israeli government and Ministry of Defense-sanctioned organization providing for IDF soldier welfare through donations, to Breaking Israel News. “These weeks not only provide a break from the day-to-day stresses of serving but also build soldier morale knowing that so many cared about their welfare.”
Yahad-United for Israel’s Soldiers did all they could to reach and treat as many soldiers as possible, especially those serving on Israel’s most distant borders. The numbers and smiles speak for themselves.
21,000 new IDF army recruits enjoyed a day of music and festivities. 300 manned computers were on-hand to help them settle into their correct army position, navigate Israel bureaucracy, and feel inspired to serve.
13,000 active duty IDF soldiers were treated to an evening in the Yarkon Tel Aviv Park of the best performers in Israel with rotating bands of their choosing. Food and activities were in abundance and Yahad-United for Israel’s Soldiers distributed free bags and sweat-wicking towels along with information about the many varied programs they sponsor to benefit IDF soldier.
6,000 lone soldiers cooled off at a water park and received a special gift from Yahad to show appreciation for their volunteering to serve in Israel’s army, away from their families and homeland comforts.
13,000 special food packages and snacks were distributed to combat battalions and units. This was done through the use of 12 ice-cream trucks traveling to army bases, some of which were located at the farthest corners of Israel where no one goes unless they are an IDF soldier assigned to maintain the safety of these borders. In addition, nine snack trucks, sponsored by IFCJ and FIDF, gave out treats and cold drinks.
Special soldier homes, located throughout Israel, enjoyed sponsored parties and special entertainment and events as well.
“I personally found these weeks of fun, which send a special ‘thank you’ to Israel’s brave and dedicated soldiers, very emotional,” continued Gozal to Breaking Israel News. “Soldiers expressed great appreciation and even some shock at the generosity of donors who did their best to let them know that they are loved and appreciated.”
Gozal shared that one soldier, serving in the boiling heat near the southern city of Eilat, said that he was feeling depressed at the thought of spending more time melting. When the truck with cold ice cream and drinks surprisingly appeared, he deeply felt that someone cared about his hard work and his entire countenance lifted.
In addition to the many special activities Yahad arranged, the organization added a creative way for IDF soldiers to give joy to others even though they already give so much. Kindergarten children from around Israel were asked to draw pictures and write letters of appreciation to soldiers. Their parents’ phone numbers were included in the letters so that soldiers who desired could personally call to speak with the child and share how meaningful it was to receive such a letter. The feedback from parents, the young children and the soldiers was very positive and meaningful.
“For the two to three years that soldiers serve and protect the Holy Land, it can be hard to feel the importance of what we do,” shared Lotem, an IDF soldier working in Intelligence, with Breaking Israel News while attending the Tel Aviv concert. “It makes a world of difference to be here, enjoying, and knowing that people sponsored these events as a way to thank us for what we do. We are really enjoying this experience and it warms our hearts.”
Please visit here too donate to Yahad-United for Israel’s Soldiers.