Caring for Families of Fallen Soldiers
Their Loss is a Constant Struggle
A Few Days of Joy Can Make the Difference.
When an Israeli soldier dies in defense of the country, the family members left behind struggle with their grief and try to make sense of their new reality. FIDF’s LEGACY program supports thousands of bereaved individuals – providing them with opportunities to connect with peers who have also suffered this terrible loss and helping them celebrate holidays and life-cycle events.
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LEGACY Bar/Bat Mitzvah
Bar/Bat Mitzvah Summer Camp in the U.S.
LEGACY Bar/Bat Mitzvah children celebrate becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah by traveling to the United States for an unforgettable 10-day trip. Every year, FIDF brings around 120 Bar/Bat Mitzvah-age children to enjoy summer camp activities, meet their American peers, tour famous sites, and form lifelong friendships.
- In 2013, 78 Bar/Bat Mitzvah children were sent on a trip to the U.S.
- Cost: $3,600 covers the cost of a child’s flights, camp fees.
Watch the Legacy Summer Camp Video
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Mazal Tov Wedding Gift
FIDF celebrates this happy day with over 41 LEGACY newlyweds each year at a special ceremony. Each couple receives a wedding gift from FIDF to help start their new life together.
- Cost: A $450 contribution covers the cost of the ceremony and wedding gift for a couple.
- In the first half of 2012, 55 LEGACY newlyweds received a wedding gift from FIDF.
FIDF now offers special vacations for widows of the IDF at resorts around Israel. The attractions in these beautiful Israeli landmarks are endless. Around 700 widows from across the country are invited to join these vacations, where they meet other widows, relax on the beach, go on hikes and jeep rides, treasure the breathtaking views of the area, and enjoy entertainment and culture, lectures and sing-along evenings.
- Cost: A $360 donation sponsors a week’s vacation for a widow.
- In 2013, FIDF hosted 750 widows at rest and recreation centers.
Bereaved sibling workshops
FIDF sponsors three-day retreats on the Mediterranean for LEGACY siblings. These retreats, which alleviate the weight of their struggle, include therapy workshops, recreational activities and the opportunity to spend time with others rebuilding their lives in the same way.
- Cost: A $120 donation sponsors a three-day retreat for one sibling.
Every family has its own festive tradition when it comes to celebrating the Jewish holidays. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, is a time of renewal and new beginnings. For the LEGACY families, it is a bittersweet occasion, marked with feelings of sadness and hope. FIDF extends its support and wishes for a better year with a Rosh Hashanah gift to the widows of fallen IDF soldiers.
- In 2012, FIDF presented Rosh Hashanah gifts to 4,900 IDF widows.
- In 2013, 5,200 widows were presented with holiday gifts through the LEGACY Program.
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"In 2002, our brother, Or-Moshe, fell in action. He served in the Armored Corps and was very proud to be an IDF soldier who protects his family and fellow Israelis. His death devastated us. When we lost him, our lives changed forever. So the support we received from everyone around us was important. We both participated in the FIDF LEGACY Program for siblings and children of fallen soldiers, and went on a trip to the U.S. The program was absolutely amazing. We were surrounded with love and met with many FIDF supporters. On behalf of our family, we would like to thank you for everything you are doing for us."
- Corporal Shiran, Air Force Operations Coordinator in a combat squadron And her sister Chen, high-school student
"The LEGACY Program brings Bar/Bat Mitzvah aged children from the families of fallen soldiers to a summer camp in the United States, providing them with both an emotional escape from the hardships of their daily life and an opportunity to bond with American children."
- Marci Spitzer, FIDF Supporter of the LEGACY Program from California