January 6, 2008 / 10 Tevet 5769
Three families from New York State – Heller, Zaro and Dobin – came to Israel with their children at the end of December, 2008, and prepared packages for IDF soldiers currently fighting in Operation Cast Lead.
The families also invited six lone soldiers to join them for dinner at the Te’enim restaurant in Jerusalem.
The delegation was given an overview of the Jewish Agency and the assistance the Agency offers to soldiers who are in Israel without any family.
Each of the soldiers then told the group about his/her life and emigration to Israel.
One of the soldiers, who emigrated from the FSU and is now a talented violinist, played some pieces on the violin, inspiring the members of the delegation and bringing them to tears.
The following day, the delegation visited the Beit Canada Absorption Center in Jerusalem, where they heard about the center’s work from a social worker and a representative from the Agency’s Department of Resource Development and Public Relations. The delegation also heard from a number of immigrants at the absorption center about their lives and their emigration to Israel.
Afterward, the delegation prepared special gift packages for lone soldiers and heard the personal story of one such soldier who currently serves as a paratrooper. His unit is currently engaged in the battle in Southern Israel, and the gift packages will be delivered to the soldiers in that unit.
The paratrooper warmly thanked the group for the gifts on behalf of himself and his peers.