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Project Spotlight: Yedidut Zahala

Young men participating in Yedidut Zahala (photo: IFCJ)

Yedidut Zahala is a Fellowship-sponsored national mentoring program aimed at helping youth at risk to successfully serve in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and go on to contribute to the state of Israel. The mentors, all volunteers who are IDF soldiers in the reserves, meet weekly with groups of youth who are experiencing difficulties at home and at school. They also participate in special events throughout the year, such as planned hikes and trips abroad.

The program has operated successfully for 22 years and boasts 7,000 graduates who have successfully completed a meaningful army service and have become integrated into Israeli society.

The volunteer mentors guide the youth for three years and become a significant adult role model in the young person’s life. They give the youth personal attention and a feeling of confidence throughout the years of their relationship.

At a recent Yedidut Zahala event, Rabbi Eckstein addressed the staff and volunteers gathered, saying, “I just want to say how proud I am, as a Jew and an Israeli, of the spirit and the values that you demonstrate to the youth who are our future. You are a model for our children. It's written that the act is the main thing. Don't talk, but do. That's what I see in this organization.” And The Fellowship is pleased to help make these life-changing mentoring relationships a reality. 

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