Israeli civil servants report to duty to help 1,500 ‘lone soldiers’

Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) — Dozens of Israeli civil servants gathered at a Tel Aviv event venue in an effort to resolve bureaucracy problems for 1,500 soldiers with no family in Israel.

Forty representatives from government agencies were on hand Thursday for “Yom Sidurim,” Hebrew for “chores day” — an interministerial effort benefiting so-called lone soldiers, including many immigrants, from 60 countries. It was the third one since the inaugural event in 2014.

Nefesh B’Nefesh, an organization that facilitates immigration to Israel, initiated the event along with the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces charity.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon was on hand for the event at a temporary field office along with representatives from the ministries of interior, immigration and housing. Among those fielding the soldiers’ requests were the Automobile License Authority; the Tax Authority; The Jewish Agency for Israel; the Discharged Soldiers Guidance Department; the Electric Company of Israel; Israel Post, and the Bank of Israel.

“For me it is emotional to see these incredible olim, speaking multiple languages, gathered under one roof, unified in Zionism and dedicated service,” Nefesh B’Nefesh director Rabbi Yehoshua Fass said. “This day is aimed at showing them how grateful we are.”

Olim is the Hebrew-language word for people who immigrate to Israel under its Law of Return for Jews and their immediate relatives.