Each month, Wings for Lone Immigrant Soldiers works in coordination with the IDF to provide a workshop that prepares lone soldiers for entrance into civilian life. The workshop brings together lone soldiers for a full 5 days of interactive learning and creates a platform for soldiers to share fears, concerns, and hopes for the future.
Lone soldiers complete the Wings workshop with a Hebrew resume, information on their rights and benefits as new immigrants, a greater understanding of topics including income tax and social security in Israel, and much more.
Among the 115 lone immigrant soldiers to take part in the Wings pre-release workshop this month, were Ronen Feiner and Aaron Clayton. The pair are friends from the University of Leeds in England where they both studied prior to making Aliyah. They met through the Jewish Society at Leeds University, where Ronen was the chair. Aaron was also very active in the Jewish Society and helped found AEPI, the Jewish Fraternity at Leeds.
Upon completing their degrees, Ronen and Aaron came to Israel together and enlisted around the same time into the IDF. Ronen serves as a combat soldier in the Nachal Brigade and Aaron serves as a combat soldier with the border police. They will both be released from the IDF this November.
The lone soldiers gain a great deal by participating in the workshop. Ronen explains, "The Wings workshop is something that I am definitely very happy that I got to do. It is not just a course you do quickly in the army and forget about. The Wings workshop gives you the tools to go on to excel and succeed post army, and for years to come. I came out with a Hebrew CV and a better idea of what I'm going to do and how I'm going to do it. The group moderator we had is now our contact who is happy to look at my CV again and help me practice for interviews. When I spoke to my parents after the workshop I was so excited. You have to send every lone soldier to this course."
Wings currently supports 800 lone immigrant soldiers a year. Our goal is to reach all 1,200 who will be released from IDF service in 2017.
Ronen Feiner and Aaron Clayton