Over 5,000 lone Israeli soldiers were treated to a day of sun, fun and relaxation to finish the hot summer. The “Fun Day”, held at Shefayim Water Park outside of Tel Aviv, provided a much needed and well-deserved break from the day-to-day stresses of serving in the Israel Defense Force (IDF).
“We are proud of every Israeli soldier,” stated Brigadier General Yehiel Gozal, CEO of Yahad-United for Israel’s Soldiers, to Breaking Israel News. “This day was a great way to release some of the enormous pressure that IDF soldiers face as they protect the Holy Land.”
In addition to the water park’s many attractions, the full day event included a poolside party with entertainment from leading Israeli DJ Eran Barnea, special programming by Israeli radio personality Didi Harari and singers Static and BenEl Tavori. A smorgasbord of food and desserts were available all day including grilled barbecue meat. Every soldier also received a gift package.
“Lone soldiers leave their family homes, culture and country and give some of the best years of their lives to protect Israel and her citizens,” continued Gozal. “Events like this raise spirits, bring unity and show how much we appreciate the dedication of these young men and women.”
The IDF presently has serving over 6,000 lone soldiers from 80 countries worldwide. Lone soldiers can also include Israelis who have lost contact with their families. 68 percent of lone soldiers are men and 32 percent are women. Both male and female soldiers attended the event from every battalion.
“This was the largest event of its kind to date,” noted Gozal to Breaking Israel News. “It was a joint effort of fundraising and organization between Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF), Yahad-United for Israel’s Soldiers, The LIBI Fund and the IDF.”
Joining the soldiers were high-ranking officers, unit commanders, 1,000 IDF social welfare non-commissioned officers and FIDF representatives who all mingled with the soldiers.
“We are grateful for the funds that came in to host this event,” Gozal said. “This event was so large, so unifying and so successful due to the generosity of donors who appreciate that soldiers need support financially, socially, and emotionally during and after their military service. The positive and long-lasting effects of a fun day like this should not underestimated.”