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Home cooked meals
Shabbat and Holidays
Every lone soldier looks forward to an “off weekend”, when they can take leave from their army base. Although it’s a welcome respite from an intense period of army training and service, it sometimes can come with unsettling concerns. “Where will I eat Shabbat meals? Will I have to eat alone in my apartment again?” A few years ago this was a common dilemma. [Thank G-d,] Since the establishment of Chayal el Chayal, this is no longer something to worry about for dozens and dozens of lone soldiers. They now know with certainty that they will be able to eat both Shabbat and holiday meals at Chayal el Chayal, and they will have the greatest, most comfortable time here.
Every Shabbat, we provide gourmet, home-cooked meals for sixty to one hundred soldiers. It not only fills them with traditional Shabbat delicacies, but we also give them a warm atmosphere filled with singing and laughter, where they can meet fellow soldiers and grow spiritually. This is one place where they can feel completely relaxed and at home.
Serving the soul
The days starts early and end late, and with all of the stresses that the busy life of a soldier entails, one’s spiritual growth can be impaired. We believe that it is very important to keep the spiritual flame inside of every soldier burning brightly. In order to do this, Chayal el Chayal provides guidance and support in Judaism, tailored to each soldier’s level of observance.
We offer Shabbat and Holiday meals, Torah classes, hikes to learn about the history of the land, prayer services and free weekly Chayenu (Torah) learning pamphlets. In addition, we provide access to rabbis who will answer question and address issues whenever they may arise.
Make a difference for a soldier
“There’s nothing like spending Holidays with family”
Spending the holidays without one’s family is a challenge that every lone soldier faces. Chayal el Chayal offers the opportunity to spend each Holiday with over sixty lone soldiers in a warm, close-knit environment, with delicious homemade food, singing and meaningful discussions. It gives them a chance to reconnect and recharge even though their family and friends may be thousands of miles away.
Rather than bringing on melancholy, holidays bring the lone soldiers an array of exciting and joyous programs – through Chayal El Chayal. Building Sukkah, going on Chol Hamoed outings, delivering Menorahs, doughnuts and dreidels for Chanukah. Megillah readings and gift baskets on and off base during Purim, enjoying a family-style Seder together on Pesach and much more. We go the extra mile to ensure that every single soldier feels the spirit of all our wonderful holidays.
“Packing in the Love”
We often take everyday things for granted – such as a warm blanket on a cold winter night, or an ice cold water bottle on a hot summer day. Sometimes it is hard for IDF lone soldiers to access these basic necessities. At Chayal el Chayal we focus on these small details which enhance and create a better army experience for our lone soldiers, making sure that whether they are on or off base their basic needs are covered.
Chayal el Chayal takes pride in distributing care packages for holidays and to newly drafting soldiers. It’s always a major operation preparing the packages, with 300 to 1,400 soldiers receiving them each holiday. For pre-drafting soldiers, we often reach out to people around the world who send basic necessities for the soldiers such, as socks, deodorant, toothpaste and more. The soldiers really get to see and understand that there are people around the world who appreciate them for protecting our land. We also encourage school projects, both in Israel and around the world, wherein children write letters to lone soldiers, which is another way for these heroes to feel the warm embrace of the greater Jewish family.
Events & Parties
At Chayal el Chayal we love hosting the Lone Soldiers for as many lively seasonal events as we can. BBQ’s, sporting events, musical gatherings, dinners, and other events give the soldiers an opportunity to mingle and meet new friends. We invite the sponsors to speak at our events, sharing their gratitude with the attending soldiers. It is quite heartwarming!
If you would like to help us create another event to honor the Lone Soldiers, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would love to help arrange a Bat Mitzvah, a Hike, or even lunch, to honor the soldiers.