February 22, 2007 / 4 Adar 5767
In Advance of Family Day: the Jewish Agency, the Friends of the IDF and the IDF airlifted to Israel 200 parents to soldiers who arrived to serve in Israel without their families.
In advance of Family Day, the Jewish Agency, the Friends of the IDF and the IDF initiated an unprecedented campaign, which airlifted to Israel 200 parents of soldiers who arrived in Israel on their own, from all parts of the world. The project, known as “On Leave With Mother Program”, will take place between February 21-28.
The operation was financed by the Jewish Agency thanks to contributions from the United Jewish Communities of North America (UJC) and Keren Hayesod. During the course of their visit, the soldiers and their parents, some of whom have not seen each other for a number of years, will tour selected sites throughout Israel and will participate in cultural and entertainment events and enrichment workshops. Likewise, they will visit IDF bases and participate in aliyah and education fairs. Included in the itinerary are such sites as Masada, the Dead Sea, the Western Wall, the Old City of Jerusalem, Yad Vashem, Mt. Herzl, the Hebrew University, an Army base in the north and other locations.
In addition, the Jewish Agency is organizing absorption fairs for the parents throughout the country to allow them to explore first-hand options for immigrating to Israel. During their stay in Israel, the parents and their children will stay at the Friends of the IDF recreation complex in Givat Olga as well as in Jerusalem hotels.
Most of the soldiers’ parents landed on the 19th and 20th of February at Ben Gurion Airport, where they were received by their children who are serving in the IDF.
The major event, a salute to the lonesome soldiers, will take place on February 27, at the Noga Theatre in Jaffa with the participation of Zeev Bielski, the chairman of the Jewish Agency and Izhak Eitan, chairman of the Friends of the IDF.