Four hundred and fifty lone soldiers from 35 different countries from around the world took part in the biggest Passover Seder for lone soldiers of the IDF. The event was held at the Olga recreational resort, hosted by United for Israel’s soldiers, donated by the Canadian Zionist Cultural Association (CZCA).
Earlier in the day, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, Head of IDF's Manpower Directorate and Spokesperson Maj. Gen. Moti Almoz, Chairman of United for Israel’s soldiers (Res.) Yoram Yair and President of CZCA, Mr. Wilf Shiff met with and greeted the soldiers.
The lone soldiers got to enjoy a celebratory Passover Seder. The dining room was turned into a lavish events hall with traditional Afikomans (half-piece of matzo which is broken in two during the early stages of the Seder, so that the children at the Seder will "steal" it and demand a reward) hiding within its walls.
The event was held by United for Israel’s soldiers for the sixteenth year and sponsored for the fifth time by CZCA
“In a month, we will mark 69 years to Israel’s independence. Today, Israel is a very strong country, with a powerful military. Though we are facing many threats, we have spent the last 69 years building a mighty army, with advanced technologies and the ability to defend our country and win wars.
"Our power as an Army lies in our people. Young people like you—making Aliyah, coming from diverse backgrounds, from around the world, for one purpose—being a part of IDF’s power. When that power is met with the commitment of world Jewry and the country’s civilians to the IDF—it creates great and powerful strength—that is the essence of it all.
"This is our opportunity to salute you and to express our sincere appreciation for your contribution and dedication—those volunteering to serve and those enlisted. We will go to great lengths to assure this holiday is safe for the civilians of Israel. I wish you all a wonderful Passover, and all the best,” said Eisenkot.
Eisenkot's words were followed by Maj. Gen. Yair, who said, “This year we will commemorate 50 years to the Six Day war. Beyond the incredible military achievement, the war was a monumental moment in time when this country’s connection with the diaspora strengthened significantly. The hundreds of soldiers here today, represent 6,900 lone soldiers serving in the IDF, who are a testament to the deep bond built in those days. I would like to personally thank each and every man and woman… and wish the people of Israel a happy and Kosher Passover."
“The deep connection between Canadian Jews and IDF soldiers is over 40 years old and was established by the Holocaust survivors who founded the CZCA. I wish to extend my gratitude and thank every soldier, here and everywhere across the country—we love you and wish you and your families a happy holiday, and send you all a warm, loving embrace,” said Mr. Shiff.