'Wings' Soldiers Prepare for Civilian Life, Thanks to Special Grant
'Wings' lone soldiers receiving special grants to ease their transition into civillian
life at a Jewish Agency ceremony.

June 7, 2010 / 25 Sivan 5770

Thirty lone soldiers from the Jewish Agency's "Wings" participated in a graduation and scholarship ceremony at the Jewish Agency offices in Jerusalem. 

The June 6, 2010, ceremony gave lone soldiers who served in combat units in the IDF "Landing on their Feet" grants of $500 each to assist them with their initial living expenses as they embark upon civilian life. The soldiers who received the grants come from the former Soviet Union, the United States, Canada, Europe and South America.

"The name says it all," said Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky. " 'Wings' truly gives lone soldiers the wings they need to land gracefully into civilian life and also to fulfill their full potential as respectable citizens of Israeli society."

"Wings" is a multi-faceted Jewish Agency program run in partnership with the Merage Foundation and other donors that gives lone immigrant soldiers support and guidance before and immediately after they are discharged from the IDF.

Through Wings, lone soldiers transitioning to civilian life can learn everything from how to write a check and reading a rental contract to navigating their rights as citizens, such as understanding and accessing their national insurance payments, medical insurance, taxes and college scholarships for new immigrants.  Wings participants also have access to workshops on job market skills and higher education opportunities.

After the course, each soldier receives career counseling and testing, financial advice, personal guidance and counseling

Since its inception five years ago, over 3,200 lone soldiers have participated in Wings - with more than 800 soldiers participating in 2009.    

An estimated 2,500 soldiers serving in the IDF come from overseas and do not have parents in Israel. Each year, around 700 of these finish their military service and enter Israeli society, with 75% committed to staying in the country. But according to a Jewish Agency study, in which 113 lone soldiers were surveyed, the vast majority are not equipped for Israeli life. 

For further information contact:
Michael Jankelowitz,
Liaison to the Foreign Press, Jewish Agency for Israel
Mobile: +972-52-6130220;
Voice-mail: +972-2-620-2780
website: www.jewishagency.org



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08 Jun 2010 / 26 Sivan 5770 0