An Educational and Transformative Jewish Heritage Journey
Across Israel for IDF Commanders

Hailed by Israel's Ministry of Education as one of the most important Jewish educational programs today for youth, Masa Yisraeli (the Israeli Routes Odyssey) offers a unique, life-changing experience, designed to reinforce individual, Jewish, and Zionist identities, while strengthening the bond and sense of belonging of the participants to the people, land and State of Israel.

IAJF supported Masa Yisraeli-IDF Tactical Command program for IDF commanders. The effect of the program takes on additional dimensions when applied to the young soldiers. IDF stated: "Our soldiers know how to fight but they should also know what they are fighting for." Soldiers who have participated attest to the very powerful impact Masa Yisraeli has had on their service and their lives thereafter.

Masa participants emerge with a more defined sense-of-self, more committed as Jews, more motivated soldiers, and more resilient Israelis. To date 25,000 IDF commanders from the most elite units have participated in Masa Yisraeli. By investing in them, a growing percentage of Israel's future generations are reconnecting to the idealism upon which the State was founded.

IAJF Formal Education Program for IDF Soldiers

The needs and struggles of IDF soldiers neither begin nor end on the battlefield. Many active-duty soldiers have not completed their basic high school education or received a matriculation. IAJF together with Friends of the IDF expanded the IDF Education Program, ensuring that more soldiers will be able to complete their high school equivalency by the end of their military service.

The IAJF Formal Education Program seeks to improve the future of the soldiers and the State of Israel by granting those eligible with the opportunities to pursue either a higher education or a successful career upon their release from the military.

The soldiers' time in the army trained them to give all they can to the security and success of Israel, and the IAJF Formal Education Program allows them to do so long after they hang up their uniform. IAJF is proud to invest in Israel's next generation of leaders and to help "changing the future of Israel - one soldier at a time".

Sponsorship of an Apartment for a Combat Lone Soldier

There are currently approximately 5,800 "lone soldiers" serving in the IDF. Some of them are new immigrants that arrived in Israel without their families and some are Israel-born soldiers from difficult socio-economic backgrounds.

Beit Kobi provides support and maintains shared apartments for lone soldiers from the Givati Brigade of the IDF Ground Forces for the entire period of their military service. It was established in memory of Kobi Ichelbom Z"L, a commander at the Givati Brigade who fell in action on March 10, 2002, as a fulfillment of his unwritten will to care for the weak. IAJF sponsored an apartment for one year for an IDF combat soldier who emigrated from New York, providing him with comfortable homelike quarters that he can return to while he is on military furlough.

IAJF's support provides the soldiers with the compassion, help, and care they need to successfully serve in the army.


IAJF Funds a Gym for the 80th Territorial Division's Carmit Outpost

The Israel Defense Forces' 80th Territorial Division is the largest division of the IDF and is subordinate to the army's Southern Command. It was created in 1979 following Israel's peace treaty with Egypt, its jurisdiction stretching over 150 km of the Egyptian border with Israel and 200 km of the Jordanian border with Israel.

The 80th Territorial Division is home to some of the most hard working men and women soldiers of the IDF. Young soldiers are responsible for sophisticated equipment and for ensuring the residents of Israel can go about their days unhindered. The 80th Territorial Division's Carmit Outpost is responsible for guarding against several security threats including terror attacks along the Southern border (where infiltrators may come from the Gaza Strip and Sinai), illegal smuggling of drugs, and illegal entrance into the country at large.

Their minds and bodies are tested as they defend the Jewish homeland. The military service of these units proves intense physically and emotionally and can reign tough on even the most focused soldier. The gym funded by the IAJF will provide amenities that allow these soldiers to unwind and re-energize for their daily routines.

The project is part of the IDF's new approach to delivering standardized medium-size facilities in a matter of months instead of years by using standardized architecture that is preapproved and permitted for immediate construction. The prefabricated gym structure will house exercise equipment, bathrooms and locker rooms. The project can accommodate up to 25 users in its 646 square feet. Lt. Col. L, Infantry Commander, says, "It is heartwarming to know there are people who care about the soldiers who stand vigilant at their post."

IAJF is a tax-exempt non-profit organization under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Contributions are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.
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