Lone soldiers enjoy a Passover seder together in 2018. During the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the lone soldiers received food packages with seder supplies for Passover.

When Matthew was a lone soldier serving in the Israel Defense Forces, the support of Lone Soldier Centers was an important part of his service. 

“Being a lone soldier in Israel means that you are fighting to protect a country in which you have no immediate family, and therefore it does sometimes feel like you are alone,” he said.  For those who weren’t born and raised in Israel, there are aspects of life that are hard to navigate and times where language, lack of family or friends, or even a lack of resources can feel like a barrier.

Matthew, who was a corporal in Kishrey Chutz (foreign relations) from December 2011 to January 2013, now lives in the East Valley.

“For the most part, being a lone soldier means that you’re not alone because of places like the Lone Soldier Centers,” he said.  They “provide a home and comfort for those taking part in something bigger than themselves, and it is the love and community that lone soldiers find at these centers that make them feel not alone.”

To show our support for the lone soldiers who are currently serving in the IDF, the Lone Soldier Project of the EVJCC is having a Seders for Soldiers campaign from now until Passover to raise funds to send to lone soldier centers for Passover seders. 

Support a Passover seder for soldiers by donating here

“By supporting the Lone Soldier Centers, you are supporting an organization that acts as a family to those without one,” Matthew says. “From my experience, it was a reminder of why I chose to become a lone soldier and a sign of gratitude for my service.”