I have no idea if that is just an Israeli concept, but what it means to us is the demographic of soldiers in the IDF who are immigrants and have no immediate family located in Israel to support them throughout their army service. They have no default place to go for weekends off or Shabbat and holiday meals. The family they have to visit is abroad somewhere – Brazil, England, France, Australia, the United States, etc.
They come to Israel and serve and then they leave the army but a lot of the time they don’t leave Israel; they’ve made aliyah, after all. So they need professions, skills, education – they need what we all needed, a first job to kick start a career in Israel.
Your company or organization could possibly help them with folks who’d like to mentor a lone soldier in their potential field.
The HESEG Foundation offers scholarships for lone soldiers and matches mentors with their scholarship recipients in the fields of computers and software, communications, law, business and accounting.
For more information, contact Itamar Shalev.
Here’s a bit more about the HESEG Foundation:
HESEG Foundation provides full academic scholarships and living expenses to former ” lone soldiers ” (חיילים בודדים) who have completed their services in the IDF and have chosen to make Israel their home. Lone soldiers are men and women from all over the world, who come to Israel to volunteer in the IDF. These remarkable individuals leave their families and friends behind, and are driven by their ideals and commitment to Israel’s security and future.
HESEG was established by Canadians Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman as a way to recognize and honor the contribution of the lone soldiers to Israel, by providing them with an opportunity, through education and career development, to start a life in Israel.
The HESEG scholarship program focuses on nurturing leadership and motivating achievement in the academic world, and in broader Israeli society. Scholars are required to meet a high academic level and contribute to their community through weekly volunteer work.
From discussions held by HESEG with its scholars HESEG identified a need for scholar counseling and guidance. As a result HESEG has launched the mentors program, a personal guidance program where professional specialists from different fields offer their guidance and expertise to our scholars and alumni.
There are currently 21 mentors participating in the program, three of which are advisory board members. Mentors are matched up with scholars based on shared interests and meet with their scholars in an informal setting to offer advice and guidance.