IDF Honors Outstanding Soldier/Students

July 30, 2013

2 min read

“I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:10)

Outstanding soldiers, who had just received gifts, sponsored by American Friends of LIBI, pose for a picture with one of AFL’s representatives in Israel, Ayal Kellman (5th from left) (Photo: Ayal Kellman)

No one questions the devotion and sacrifice of each and every 18-year-old soldier that enters the IDF. While most kids their age around the world are getting ready to hit college campuses, they must endure a far greater maturation process. Thankfully, the IDF can be a two-way street, where those who take one of life’s most challenging detours are provided a way to be seamlessly integrated back into society.

Last Thursday, American Friend of LIBI (AFL) was proud to sponsor gifts that were handed out to a group of outstanding soldiers who received their high school degree through a course provided by the army. LIBI, the official fund of the IDF, was established in 1980 by Prime Minister Menachem Begin and the IDF Chief of Staff Rafael Eitan to provide for the educational, religious, medical and recreational needs of Israeli soldiers.

Many of the young men and women who were honored were forced to drop out of high school under extenuating personal or familial circumstances and they opted to complete high school towards the end of their mandatory military service, granting them an opportunity to seamlessly integrate back into Israeli society. Emotion and excitement was palpable at the ceremony, attended by the soldiers’ personal officers as well as a large group of proud friends and family.

The five and a half month course is a product of the IDF Education Corps and offers participants the opportunity to complete their high school education. About 1,000 students pass through the course yearly with an average success rate of 86%. Ten outstanding students from the most recent iteration received backpacks with study kits from AFL, which intends to continue supporting this as well as other IDF educational projects.

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“It was really special to observe the culmination of all the hard work on the part of these young men and women. The IDF should really be recognized for providing them with such a great opportunity,” said Ayal Kellman, one of AFL’s representatives in Israel, “It’s one thing to complete high school at the normal time with friends but to volunteer to return to school after several years absence requires motivation and dedication. AFL has always been there to provide educational support for Israeli soldiers and it was an honor to personally congratulate these ten outstanding soldiers.”

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