Despite Corona, Lone Soldier-Immigrants Arrive in Israel

“Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth.” (Isaiah 43:6)

By Yossi Aloni | | Topics: IDF, Aliyah

Despite the coronavirus saga, 300 young people from around the world are moving to Israel this week. They come alone, without their families, to immigrate and enlist in the IDF. After two weeks of quarantine, their absorption process will begin, prior to full recruitment this coming winter. They are a source of inspiration to the native Israelis.

Despite the period of uncertainty and restrictions, the young people chose to continue this Aliyah/immigration journey. For each of the young people, this was a process that began before the outbreak of corona. In light of the epidemic, there was concern about a decrease in the number of immigrants.

The absorption process for these hundreds of young people will happen in dozens of kibbutzim that are “adopting” them, in preparation for full IDF enlistment this coming winter. These young people join the approximately 1,000 lone soldiers who are already in active military service as part of the “Sabra Nucleus” program that facilitates service in the Israel Defense Forces and provides a support system for Israelis and Diaspora Jews who do not have parents in Israel.

More than 100 new immigrants from North America arrived within 24 hours on special flights of the Nefesh B’Nefesh organization. Among the immigrants, there are also about 80 young men and women who will enlist in the IDF as part of the program for lone soldiers of Nefesh B’Nefesh and the Friends of IDF (FIDF).

The young men and women are full of motivation for military service, and are expected to join the various units in the IDF in the near future, most of them combat units. They will join a total of about 3,500 lone immigrant soldiers currently serving in the IDF.

Since the establishment of the “Sabra Nucleus” program about 30 years ago, the program has provided a comprehensive support system for approximately 5,500 individual soldiers. They served full military service in significant roles as fighters and combat supporters.

  • In the last cycle, 89% of men with a combat profile serve in combat roles
  • Among women 40% serve in combat roles.
  • 30% of the conscripts became commanders or officers.
  • 80% of them remained in Israel after discharge from the IDF (for at least 5 years)

Elad Sandrowitz, CEO of Sabra Scouts worldwide, said:

“We are excited every summer to absorb these hundreds of young men and women. They arrive in Israel after a selection and preparation process, as part of the ‘Sabra Nucleus’ program. This year the preparation process took place by in-depth digital means. This makes their journey from all over the world to the heart of Israeli society all the more inspiring. This is without a doubt the embodiment of contemporary Zionism.”


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