A Lone Soldier – Chayal Boded: Serving in the IDF
Hebrew: חייל בודד
Who is a Lone Soldier?
A lone soldier – or a chayal boded in Hebrew – is a single person, living in Israel without his/her parents, serving in the Israel Defense Force – IDF, and is in possession of a Teudat Oleh (new immigrant status). The soldier can also have the status of returning resident.
How do I get Lone Soldier Status?
In order to obtain Lone Soldier status, you need to present your Teudat Oleh when you report to your local IDF recruitment office – lishkat giyus. If you have family in Israel, but you have no contact with them or are estranged, you need to provide an official report from a social worker or counselor together with a recommendation.
Benefits for Lone Soldiers at discharge
- A one-time grant which can be used for housing, studies, marriage, medical care, entrepreneurial ventures or special needs.
- A scholarship for the purpose of completing high school studies, preparation for matriculation exams of improving matriculation results.
- Scholarships for higher, tertiary education.
- Financial assistance towards the cost of psychometric exams, pre-academic studies and preparatory studies for new immigrants – mechina.
- One-time assistance towards rental costs and initial housing expenses.
- Finding employment.
- A 30 days stay in a soldier’s hostel.
Resources for Lone Soldiers
For more information on funding assistance for lone soldiers call +972-3-737 5200
The Lone Soldier Center
The Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin is a non-profit organization founded and run by former lone soldiers. The Lone Soldier Center is the only organization providing for all the physical and emotional needs of the more than 5,000 lone soldiers in the IDF before their draft, during their service and following their release from the IDF. The Center creates a community of lone soldiers by offering social events such as Shabbat and holiday meals, tiyulim (hikes), recreational activities, educational programs and more. The Center provides one-on-one counseling, food, furniture, household appliances, assistance in finding apartments, adoptive families, support at ceremonies and other milestone events, post-army guidance, vouchers and so much more! For more information visit their website at www.lonesoldiercenter.com or call: 02-502-2211.
Eran, A lone soldier shares his story
Lots of unsteady, Zionist motivated, young American adults come to Israel to show their Jewish/Israeli attachment. Maybe it’s just an excuse, and they are searching for their identity in what they presume is a different and friendlier society. In my case, I came to Israel, not because I wanted to contribute to Israel, but because I needed to get away from a hectic way of life in Los Angeles. I was searching for a combination of stability, equality, loyalty, individuality and even similarity. I hoped that my endeavors would propel my personal growth, maturity and purpose in life. Read More…