Rock climbing
Rock climbingiStock

Thirty-six children and siblings of fallen Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers, aged 12 to 14, are visiting the Washington D.C. and Philadelphia areas as part of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) LEGACY program, starting Tuesday.

Participants will enjoy an unforgettable two weeks of touring and summer camp at Capital Camps and Retreat Center in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.

This year marks the celebration of a five-year partnership between FIDF LEGACY programs and Capital Camps.

The Israeli teens – all of whom have lost a family member who was serving in Israel’s military – will have the opportunity to bond with each other while camping with American peers and forming life-long friendships. The Israeli children will participate in typical American camp activities such as swimming, archery, rock climbing, and arts and crafts, and in more familiar traditions like Israeli dancing and Jewish learning.

The entire program is fully sponsored by FIDF, including airfare, travel, accommodations, food and more. As part of the LEGACY experience, FIDF supporters in the Washington D.C. area, will host the Israeli teens at their homes over Shabbat (Sabbath).

“These children are so brave to have been through so much at such young ages,” said FIDF Washington D.C. Chapter Board Member and 2019 LEGACY Camp Committee Chair Dr. Benjamin Osborne, who will host three of the children at his home. “We want to show these incredible kids how much we appreciate the sacrifices they and their families have made for Israel and Jews everywhere.”

Six Israeli counselors who had experienced similar tragedies and two active-duty commanders from the IDF Casualty and Wounded Department are accompanying the children to help provide comfort and guidance.

The FIDF LEGACY program supports thousands of widows, orphans, siblings, and other family members of fallen IDF soldiers through recreational activities, financial support, and life-cycle celebrations.