(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Ninety percent of Israel Defense Forces lone soldiers (those without immediate family living in Israel) who have completed their military service see their futures in the Jewish state, while 62 percent report that family members have followed them and moved to Israel, according to a new survey.
The survey was conducted by the Jewish Agency for Israel in conjunction with the Merage Foundation by the Ergo Consulting Group to mark the 10th anniversary of the Wings Program, established to help lone soldiers build a home in Israel. The respondents were former lone soldiers who live in Israel and were accompanied by the Wings Program. The survey set out to examine the challenges faced by lone soldiers as they approach the end of their military service, with the aim of developing additional tools to ease their integration into civilian life.
Some 84 percent of those surveyed said their families supported their decision to immigrate to Israel. The survey results also show that the vast majority of lone soldiers feel well-integrated into Israeli society after their discharge from the IDF: 58 percent consider themselves first and foremost “Israelis,” while only 29 percent consider themselves “immigrants.”
Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky said, “These young men and women—who have chosen to leave their families, make aliyah, and become integrated into Israeli life in the most active way possible—are the pioneers of the Jewish people, and they are our future.”