The Lone Soldier Project of the East Valley JCC is sending more than 1,000 Hanukkah letters and messages to lone soldiers serving in the Israel Defense Forces through the fifth annual Hanukkah Greetings campaign. 

The campaign, organized by Lone Soldier Project coordinator Michael Cohen, expanded to sites in Tucson and Prescott this year, for a total of 30 sites across the state of Arizona. (It also included letters from a religious school in Manchester, Conn., who participated after hearing about the project.)

The greetings were sent to Lone Soldier Centers in Israel, who will distribute the letters to lone soldiers throughout Israel. 

Participating organizations included nine synagogue religious schools, four day schools, seven youth programs and 10 adult organizations. Cohen also visited several of these organizations to teach adults and children about lone soldiers, who are individuals serving in the IDF without family support in Israel. 

In addition to the Hanukkah Greeting Campaign, the Lone Soldier Project also provides holiday meals and knitted hats to the lone soldiers.  Learn more about lone soldiers and the Lone Soldier Project at



Students at the Phoenix Hebrew Academy learn about  lone soldiers during a presentation by Dr. Michael Cohen, coordinator of the EVJCC’s Lone Soldier Project.