By land, sea, and air, the courageous men and women of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) dedicate their every day to protecting the Jewish State. Within this group, the challenges of immigrant “Lone Soldiers,” who voluntarily enlist in the army, and have no family members living in Israel, are particularly notable.
For instance, Lone Soldiers often find themselves without the time to complete their basic personal errands and to navigate the often-arduous process of Israeli bureaucracy. Given this reality, Nefesh B’Nefesh and the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF), together with the IDF Human Resources Department, organize the annual “Yom Siddurim” (personal errands day), a one-stop shop for Lone Soldiers to complete a wide range of errands, in cooperation with the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, Ministry of Interior, The Jewish Agency, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael, and JNF-USA. With the assistance of Yahad, all of the essential civilian agencies whose services are needed by Lone Soldiers are brought together in Beit HaChayal on the same day and under one roof, streamlining the soldiers’ efforts to take care of their logistical tasks.
This year’s Yom Siddurim took place on Thursday, Jan. 25.
More than 3,000 Lone Soldiers from around the world, including over 1,000 from North America, are currently serving in the IDF. About 1,600 Lone Soldiers from 70 different countries are expected to benefit from Nefesh B’Nefesh and FIDF’s personal errands day. In 2017 alone, 358 Lone Soldiers made Aliyah through Nefesh B’Nefesh.
The Yom Siddurim is an opportunity for Lone Soldiers to attend to personal affairs such as driving tests, taxes, municipal and governmental services and a few foreign consular services will be represented. Additionally, Nefesh B’Nefesh and FIDF representatives are on site to provide guidance on acclimating into post-army life.
The agencies participating in Yom Siddurim include: Israel’s Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, Student Licensing Office, Ministry of Housing, Automobile License Authority, Israel Tax Authority, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Yahad – United for Israel’s Soldiers, Discharged Soldiers Guidance Department, Electric Company of Israel, Bank of Israel, and more.