Volunteers from the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) and Yahad for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers’ IDF Food Trucks lit the third Hanukkah candle together with the combat soldiers of the Sufa Battalion of the 188th Armored Brigade, who are currently stationed in the Golan Heights.
Volunteers from IFCJ and Yahad for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers came to celebrate with the soldiers and brought donuts, snacks, and drinks to honor their contribution to the security of Israel.
Attending the event were lone soldiers who serve in the battalion and are celebrating the holiday far from their homes and families abroad.
“It's not easy to celebrate the holiday so far from family and home,” said Alexander Konchev, a tank driver and lone soldier who had made aliyah (immigrated to Israel - ed.) from Ukraine. “It's exciting that even when you are far from home, there are people who think of you and make sure you feel the holiday and celebrate it together with the battalion.”
On a daily basis, six “IFCJ/IDF Food Trucks” travel between outposts and bases around the country to distribute free snacks, ice cream bars and drinks to combat soldiers. Half of the IFCJ/IDF Food Trucks have coffee tables, Wi-Fi, TV, ice cream, charging ports for mobile phones, a popcorn machine and more.
The IFCJ/IDF Food Trucks reach tens of thousands of soldiers a year at various bases and outposts along the borders, and, of course, they await the combat soldiers at the end of the long trek marking the end of basic training and brigade exercises. The IFCJ/IDF Food Trucks operated intensively during the COVID-19 nationwide closures, reaching soldiers who had been confined to bases for extended periods.
The IFCJ/IDF Food Trucks were donated by IFCJ, which also funds their day-to-day activities. The Food Trucks are operated by volunteers and Yahad for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers staff. The project is dedicated to the memory of IFCJ founder, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, z”l.
Yael Eckstein, IFCJ President, said: “IDF combat soldiers are the defensive wall for us all. Even during the days of Hanukkah, where we all gather with our families to light candles and rejoice together, they stand on guard away from home, in harsh weather conditions and exposed to dangers. I am proud of the IFCJ/IDF Food Trucks project and happy for this opportunity to bring the soldiers a little happiness.”