Nefesh B’Nefesh and Friends of the IDF (FIDF), in cooperation with the Ministry of Transport and Road Safety’s Automobile License Authority, and the IDF Human Resources Department, hosted the first-ever Lone Soldiers’ Driver’s License Conversion Day on Thursday at the district licensing office in Holon. 1000 Lone Soldiers, many of whom are currently serving in Israel’s war efforts, benefited from on-site road tests as well as expedited bureaucratic processes, all aimed at easing and accelerating the experience of converting their foreign driving licenses to local Israeli versions, a basic need that they would otherwise have little time to get done.

In a joint effort to provide much-needed personal support to the young men and women serving in these challenging times, 38 driving instructors lent their personal cars for the event. In addition, the official Transportation Ministry’s testers, as well as many IDF driving instructors, all came together for this special initiative, further increasing the number of test slots offered. Each soldier was allotted one driving test, however, an additional test was offered on the spot for those who didn’t pass (which generally can take a significant amount of time). Volunteer teachers offered refresher lessons for the soldiers before their road tests, as some participants attended the event immediately after, and even during, long months of intense combat activity with no recent practical driving experience.

This new initiative was led by the FIDF-Nefesh B’Nefesh Lone Soldier Program, which provides year-round resources, support, and guidance for Lone Soldiers throughout their army service, and assistance with their acclimation to life in Israel.

"We are extremely proud to provide our heroes, these courageous men and women, this essential and time-consuming assistance during these challenging times," said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Nefesh B’Nefesh. "Lone Soldiers have such limited, precious free time to care for their personal needs and as such, it is an honor for us to help them expedite their Israeli Driver’s licenses, which is an essential tool to enable further independence necessary to care for themselves. We are grateful to the Ministry of Transport and the IDF Human Resources Department for their generous collaboration to make this event possible and are humbled by the daily selfless accomplishments of each one of these brave soldiers."

"Amidst these turbulent times, serving as a soldier in the IDF, especially as a Lone Soldier, presents immense challenges," said Steven Weil, CEO of FIDF. "It is our honor to support the courageous individuals who have relinquished the comforts of home, and put their futures on hold, to safeguard one of the world's most perilous and intricate regions. It is our unwavering commitment to stand by them, offering support for their everyday necessities and beyond, as they courageously navigate their path of service."

"This special day allows Lone Soldiers, who have left their families and homeland to serve in the IDF, many of whom are in combat, to quickly and efficiently convert their foreign driving licenses to Israeli ones,” Minister of Transportation and Road Safety, Brigadier General (Res) Miri Regev, said. “It is our duty, especially towards these soldiers, to improve this service as much as possible and make it easier for them. This initiative is a small expression of our appreciation and gratitude to the Lone Soldiers and their important contribution to the security of the State of Israel, and we are committed to continue assisting them in every possible way."