Israel, The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) and Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF), in collaboration with the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers (AWIS), will provide “Fellowship Gift Cards” as Chanukah gifts to over 8,000 soldiers in-need and Lone Soldiers serving in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) so that the soldiers can celebrate Chanukah without the burden of financial stress.
The gift cards can be used in major retail chain stores across Israel to purchase food, clothing, shoes, sports, and leisure products. Among the soldiers who will receive this financial support will also be 2,500 Lone Soldiers, young men and women who choose to leave their countries of origin to immigrate to Israel and serve in the IDF. Lone Soldiers come from all corners of the globe to become part of the IDF melting pot and enrich it as well as add to its magnitude.
Over the past six years (2008-2013), FIDF and The Fellowship have provided almost $16 million of financial support to soldiers from low-income families.
As part of this support, FIDF and The Fellowship will distribute the “Fellowship Gift Cards” during the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah, Chanukah, and Passover. This campaign is administered in collaboration with the IDF Personnel Directorate and reaches every eligible IDF soldier.
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, Founder and President of The Fellowship, said: “The growing cycle of poverty in Israel affects many soldiers. We appreciate the soldiers who decide to serve the State of Israel and keep us all safe despite the economic difficulties they are experiencing at home. Our goal in sponsoring the ‘Fellowship Gift Cards’ is to enable them to fulfill their obligation to the state while knowing they are fulfilling their obligation to their families as well. Now they can serve with peace of mind while caring for their personal needs and the needs of their families.”
“FIDF sees in the holiday of Chanukah another opportunity to support thousands of brave IDF soldiers, who serve as the Maccabees of the 21st Century,” stated FIDF National Director and CEO, Maj. Gen. (Res.) Yitzhak (Jerry) Gershon. “It is a great privilege, stemming from our mission and the vision of strengthening those who protect Israel, while further reinforcing the important bond between the community in America, the State of Israel, and its soldiers.”
Attached please find a photo of Israel Defense Forces soldiers from the Givati Brigade lighting Chanukah candles.
Photo credit: Friends of the IDF
About The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews:
The Fellowship was founded in 1983 by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein to promote understanding between Jews and Christians and build broad support for Israel and other shared concerns. Our ministry's vision is that Jews and Christians will reverse their 2,000-year history of discord and replace it with a relationship marked by dialogue, respect, and cooperation.
About Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF):
FIDF was established in 1981 by a group of Holocaust survivors as a 501(C)(3) not-for-profit organization with the mission of providing and supporting educational, social, cultural, and recreational programs and facilities for the heroic men and women of the IDF. Today, FIDF has more than 120,000 loyal supporters, and 15 regional offices throughout the U.S. and Panama. FIDF proudly offers its support to the IDF soldiers and their families through a variety of unique and innovative programs. These opportunities reinforce the vital bond between the communities in the United States, the soldiers of the IDF, and the State of Israel.
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