Nearly 270 lone soldiers were drafted into the Israel Defense Forces on Thursday, following Israel’s 72nd Independence Day.

The new recruits included Jewish men and women, ages 18 to 22, from the United States, Canada, Russia, France, Australia, Latin America, Ukraine, England, South Africa, Thailand, Germany, Italy, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, India, Georgia, Sweden, Holland, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Bulgaria and Kazakhstan.

Before enlisting into the IDF, the new recruits received a financial grant and special backpacks from the Friends of the IDF-Nefesh B’Nefesh lone-soldiers program to help them through their military service.

They also attended several preparation sessions held over Zoom by the program’s staff members, who provided what they need to know about their rights and relevant information for entering military service.

“It is extremely meaningful for us, the day after Yom Ha’atzmaut, to see so many lone soldiers entering the IDF in order to protect their new homes,” said program director Noya Govrin. “Our staff is there for these incredible young men and women before, during, and after their service in the IDF, providing resources, support and guidance for a successful service and acclimation to life in Israel.”

Following their enlistment, the group went to the Michve Alon base in northern Israel, where they will begin their training and study Hebrew.

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