Enlistment in the IDF Increasing from Foreign Countries

Flickr_-_Israel_Defense_Forces_-_Ethiopian-Israeli_Soldier_at_the_Western_WallWith 57 countries allowing dual citizenship, the IDF is thankfully finding an increase in foreign recruitment. With more than 5,500 lone soldiers presently serving in both combat and administrative positions in the Israeli army, the IDF has made special efforts to help foreigners acclimate to army life more quickly and efficiently.

“Every soldier is a precious son or daughter, not only to their own parents but also to Israel and the IDF,” noted Dr. John A.I. Grossman, LIBI USA Chairman. “We are obligated to assure that everyone who serves has their needs met as if they were our own child.”

To that end, the IDF has increased its efforts to assist immigrant soldiers through, what can be, daunting Israeli bureaucracy and the acquirement of the Hebrew language. Just a few years ago, new immigrants had to navigate the system on their own.

Today, people like 27-year-old Private Leron Ergas help newcomers adjust to army life. Originally from Los Angeles, California, Ergas is proud to be a pioneer in the field of aiding soldiers acclimate to their new environment. He notes that when one immigrant is helped successfully, they tell their friends who tell others. This builds morale and brings greater army accomplishments.

Yehudis Schamroth, who moved to Israel with her family 15 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland to Ramat Bet Shemesh, takes an active role in helping new immigrant soldiers. Schamroth explained to Breaking Israel News, “My son is presently in the army so I am aware of what these soldiers need. I also appreciate how challenging it is not to have family in Israel to help them. Though all soldiers are heroes, immigrant soldiers have a special place in our hearts.”

LIBI USA steps in where individual efforts like Schamroth’s lead off. LIBI sponsors holiday meals, purchases needed basic supplies, helps needy soldiers complete their educational studies, including the teaching of new immigrants Hebrew and Israeli history, provides medical assistance when it is not covered by the IDF’s regular budget and subsidizes recreational activities.

“Like the IDF, LIBI takes a ‘leave no soldier behind’ stance,” Grossman shared. “Our dedicated donors help us keep our IDF soldiers prepared as well as assist them in a brighter future in civilian Israeli life.”


Keep Israel’s Soldiers in Your Prayers on Yom Kippur

soldier praying
Praying IDF Soldier

As Yom Kippur approaches on September 23, 2015, we remember the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Approximately twenty-seven thousand IDF soldiers fell during this war which was initiated by Egypt and Syria.

Though the fallen must always be remembered, the miracles which occurred also deserve our attention. We know that God protects His children when we cry out to Him sincerely in prayer.

During the Yom Kippur War, Jews all over the world were fasting and repenting on the holiest day of the year. Soldiers took note of happenings which could only be explained as the “hand of God” protecting the Land of Israel and its inhabitants. The prayers offered from the four corners of the earth were attributed to these miracles.

Our enemies assumed that we would be weak given that it was our day of fasting. Yet, because all of Israel observes Yom Kippur, in many ways it was more efficient to gather in the troops.

The streets were silent from civilian traffic. Groups were gathered in halls of prayer. The rumbling sounds of buses coming to pick up reservists were easily heard. As sirens sounded and fighters were taken to the borders, fervent, heartfelt prayers were offered by all.

Israeli politician and former Israel Defense Forces commander Effie Eitam made known his personal miracle story while he was fighting in the Yom Kippur War. Eitam was ordered to go behind Syrian lines and take over the Syrian Division headquarters. This sometimes required close quarters and face-to-face, hand-to-hand combat with the enemy.

During a difficult battle, a bird landed on his shoulder. This bird stayed near his troops the entire ten days he fought over Syrian lines. Day and night the bird stayed close by. It was clear to Eitam that this bird was sent as an “angel” to protect his battalion, all of whom survived this difficult war. The bird left his troops only when they came back into the land of Israel.

Eitam is known as a man who has trained himself to recognize miracles. As it says in Psalm 23: “Even when I am in the valley of death and evil, I’m not afraid because God is with me….”

Sincere pray along with a strong army is the backbone of Israel’s survival. Maintaining our strength in both is crucial to Israel’s continued success.

That is why LIBI USA is offering a free download of a “Prayer for the Soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces”. At this auspicious time and always, your support of the IDF brings added assurance that our brave men and women will receive the protection they need, not only from enemies on all of our borders, but from, what can be, harsh Middle-Eastern weather.

Please download your prayer here. Keep us in your hearts and thoughts. We know that when you do your part to protect and help Israeli soldiers, we can best do our part.

Best wishes for a sweet year from LIBI USA and the IDF.