In September, in partnership with Australia’s Ambassador to Israel, H.E Chris Cannan, Telfed welcomed South African and Australian lone soldiers to a Friday morning brunch to pay tribute to these young men and women. From our beginnings in 1948, supporting young soldiers has been central to the work we do at Telfed and the Lone Soldiers Brunch has become an annual highlight in our calendar.
Over 70 years ago, when the newly established State of Israel found itself at war upon gaining independence, over 800 young men and women headed to Israel to volunteer for the fledgling army. Telfed was established to assist these young men and women and, over the years, while our services have expanded, we have been proud to continue our support for our soldiers whose wellbeing remains a priority.
There is a sense of pride that permeates the community of South African and Australian Olim in Israel where lone soldiers are concerned. The benefits to the soldiers are unparalleled — some tangible, some tacit. Recruiters look favourably at those who have come to serve, there’s no better place to improve your Hebrew and personal networks created within army units are priceless. Moreover, Israelis hold these young men and women in high esteem; no one takes it for granted that they have left the comfort of home and family to serve our country.
Telfed staff and volunteers have the unique privilege of being active participants in supporting these soldiers, thanks to the generous support of our donors. In the days leading up to the brunch, Telfed’s boardroom was lined with gift bags filled with goodies for our soldiers, gift cards were purchased and backpacks were collected.
Eli, who attended the brunch said that “the brunch at the Australian ambassador’s residence was everything to be expected and more. A spectacular array of food combined with the supportive words of the Ambassador created a welcoming environment that everyone enjoyed. This combined with catching up with friends made the event a definite highlight of many lone soldiers’ year! Thank you Telfed for such a great event.” “It was so lovely to feel the support and open arms that Telfed gives to us,” added Sarah. “We’re so lucky to have such an amazing organisation always looking after us.”
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