Updated: Aug 18
Habonim Dror’s newest five-year program for lone soldiers- Hamsa
Recently a joint effort between Habonim Dror, KKL JNF, The United Kibbutz Movement, and The Jewish Agency for Israel created a new program: Hamsa. The program, named after Zvika Levy, Israel Prize-winning laureate known as the “father of lone soldiers” is a five-year enveloping program that brings together Jewish youths from all over the world to move to Israel. Throughout the program they will become members of their foster families in the Kibbutzim and learn Hebrew in one of the Kibbutzim’s Ulpanim as well as the IDF’s Ulpanim; after which they will enroll in the military (IDF) with the ultimate goal of integrating them in the Israeli society, provide them with tools to find occupations, embedding them in the Israeli education system and endorsing the settlement of the Kibbutzim in the Negev (Southern part of Israel) and the Galil (Northern Israel).
Currently, the first 50 lone soldiers are arriving in Israel from dozens of countries across the world and will soon join their foster families and officially begin the program. Over the next five years, some 100 lone soldiers are expected to enroll in the program annually and begin their journeys as lone soldiers in several Kibbutzim throughout Israel with constant support throughout the over-arching enveloping experience. The newcomers will join the 1,500 lone soldiers that currently live in the Kibbutzim.
The program is the first of its kind in Israel and is set in Memorium to the lifelong visions and ventures of Zvika Levy: “the father of lone soldiers” and is set to tackle the largest issue that follows the lone soldiers- what will happen with them the day after their release from the military. Throughout their military service, the lone soldiers will be accompanied by social workers, and upon their release from the army they will receive a year-long scholarship that includes the expenses of living and a salary in the Kibbutz of their choice, where they will work and live in.
Isaac Herzog, Chairman of the Executive, Jewish Agency for Israel, said: “the placing of the needs of the (lone) soldiers should be at the top of the priority list, alongside personal escort, will lead to less tragic cases which occurred in the past years due to the anguish and loneliness of lone soldiers”. Daniel Atar, Chairman, KKL JNF, added to Herzog’s statement: “the Hamsa project is another part of KKL JNF’s ‘Israel 2040’ program, which aims to strengthen the Negev and the Galil and to bring 1.5 million people to settle those areas. I believe that the soldiers that will arrive in the Kibbutzim will fall in love with them and will build their future there, and thus they will fulfill KKL JNF’s vision and the Zionist vision as well. I’m happy about the partnership with the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Habonim Dror movement, that together we are doing not only an integral Zionist act but also an important humane act.”
Click the link to read more about the program: Click Here