WEST HARTFORD — Families and friends of Hartford area “Lone Soldiers” – American’s serving in the Israel Defense Forces – attended a program at the West Hartford home of Anat and Etan Markus recently to hear Idan Ianovici talk about the history of the Lone Soldier program, which was established four years ago by
Americans who completed their service in the IDF and wanted to help make life easier for other IDF soldiers without family in Israel. Ianovici is executive director of the Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levine (Levine was a Philadelphia native who was killed in 2006 while serving in the IDF during the Second Lebanon War).
Among Ianovici’s points: the program doesn’t plan anything for Lone Soldiers for Rosh Hashana or Pesach because so many families volunteer step forward to host them; instead, they organize event for those holidays when it’s hard for Lone Soldiers to find anywhere to go or anyone to celebrate with –such as Yom Ha’atsmaut (Israel Independence Day) barbeques, Thanksgiving dinners, and monthly Friday dinners. Ianovici also noted that, while about half the lone soldiers are from overseas, the other have are Israelis with no family to visit (such as those with abusive parents or orphans).