Jonathan Margulis of West Hartford was among 59 young men and women who boarded an El Al flight at JFK International Airport in New York earlier this month to head to Israel where they will make aliyah and enlist as “lone soldiers” in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). In addition to the IDF volunteers, the flight carried 29 families, nine couples and 86 singles from the U.S. and Canada – all beginning new lives in the Jewish state. The flight, chartered by Nefesh B’Nefesh, a non-profit organization that helps new immigrants navigate the sometimes complicated process of making aliyah, was facilitated in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel, JNF-USA, and Tzofim-Garin Tzabar.
In Israel, the 23-year-old Margulis, a graduate of Hall High School, joins 850 lone soldiers from the U.S., and the 2,800 lone soldiers from around the world, who are currently serving in the IDF. Nefesh B’Nefesh, in cooperation with Friends of the IDF (FIDF), continues to provide guidance and support for these lone soldiers during their period of service in the IDF, as well as afterwards, during their adjustment to civilian life.
“These brave young men and women who chose to leave the comfort of their homes, and join the thousands of soldiers already serving in the army, are a tremendous source of pride for us and for the people of Israel,” says Nefesh B’Nefesh co-founder and executive director, Rabbi Yehoshua Fass. “It is truly inspiring to see that Jews everywhere, young and old, and from all denominations, are determined to fulfill the dream of building the Jewish State and strengthening the Jewish nation.”
CAP: Jonathan Margulis at JFK Airport before boarding an El Al flight for Israel. Photo credit: Shahar Azran.