IDF adds ‘errand day’ for lone soldiers

(JTA) — The Israel Defense Forces will streamline Israel’s bureaucracy for one day to help its lone soldiers perform necessary business with the government.

IDF lone soldiers, typically immigrants without family in Israel, were released from duty Thursday for an “errand day” and encouraged to go to Tel Aviv, where a range of functionaries from government offices gathered in one building. The gathering is aimed at making it easier for the soldiers to complete personal errands with the government. Nonprofit organizations founded to assist soldiers also set up offices in the building.

Lone soldiers receive one errand day every two months to handle personal matters, but soldiers told the IDF that one day was insufficient. Thursday’s initiative was organized by Nefesh B’Nefesh, an organization that aids immigration to Israel, and the Friends of the IDF organization, which aids Israeli soldiers.

About 2,800 lone soldiers serve in the IDF, one-third of them from the United States and Canada.

“This initiative was launched in order to help make things easier for lone soldiers, and was made ​​out of respect, and recognition of the challenges with which Lone Soldiers have to deal with on a daily basis,” said Col. Eyal Karolizki, head of the Welfare Department of the IDF Manpower Branch, in a news release.

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