Young adults of ethnic minority backgrounds often come from impoverished families. For these young adults, serving in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) gives them hope for a successful future. Many more job opportunities are available to young adults who serve in the IDF, and for young minorities, these career opportunities mean they have a chance to break the cycle of poverty in their family.
Thankfully, those considering joining the IDF can rely on The Fellowship’s Pre-Army Leadership Program. After completing the half-year training program – which includes classes on Israeli geography, Hebrew language skills, fitness, and more – the graduates are prepared for positions of higher responsibility in the IDF. This training helps them find success in the IDF and puts them on a path for a successful career after their term of service in the army.
During the most recent graduation ceremony, The Fellowship provided $1,200 scholarships to the 15 participants who completed the program. They also received backpacks that included all the personal equipment they needed for the program such as flashlights, socks, T-shirts, shirts, fleece coats and more.
Yael Eckstein spoke at the graduation ceremony, saying she was so proud of those that risk their lives to serve:
“We believe in you and love you so much,” said Yael. “We're here with you from the beginning to the end – whether its 30 students next year or 300 students one day in the future – we're here with you and we believe in you.
“My father, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, always says you are heroes of Israel and holy soldiers. It's not just that you're part of our country and we love and embrace you; we need you. You're not obligated to enlist in the IDF. You do it voluntarily and we at The Fellowship appreciate, support and love you. We simply want you to know how happy we are to be here with you today at this important project.”