Soldiers Party for Charity

The IDF does more than just fight. Soldiers in elite units get together on weekends to party and to raise major sums for sick children.

Maayana Miskin, | updated: 07:09

Israel news photo: Flash 90

Twelve soldiers in elite IDF units are using what little time off they have to do more than just relax. The 12 have decided to party for a cause, and have raised tens of thousands of dollars for seriously ill children by throwing parties and charging admission.

The soldiers are all from the Kochav Yair district in central Israel, and they serve in elite units including the air force commando unit Shaldag, the ground troops special forces unit Duvdevan and the naval commando force.

After a party they organized to celebrate their first year of service was a major hit, the group started thinking of ways to use their skills for the greater good. On Independence Day they threw a party and charged for entrance and drinks, giving the profits to the family of a young girl named Yael who suffered from cancer. They managed to raise 30,000 shekels ($8,300).

Following their success, two soldiers managed to recruit their fathers - one a lawyer and the other an accountant - to the party project. They obtained  police permits, set up a Facebook page, and selected a name for their new organization, settling on Achim, the Hebrew word for "brothers."

The group has recruited popular bands to play at its events for free. All the work at the events is done on a volunteer basis.

Achim is planning another party, which is to take place on Saturday night in Hangar 11 in the trendy Hanamal area at the Tel Aviv port. All proceeds will go to the family of a 7-year-old girl named Elya who suffers from a rare brain defect. Elya needs brain surgery in Toronto, at an expense of $350,000.

Achim member Daniel Lavar spoke to the IDF newspaper B'Machaneh and reported that group members had received many compliments on their work and offers to help. He explained how the soldiers can continue their project while serving in elite units, saying, "A lot of it is making phone calls. Then on weekends all of us who get leave that week have meetings and plan."

"It's fun, it makes our army service pass enjoyably. It's something a bit above and beyond the things that soldiers usually worry about," he concluded.