Lone soldiers dig in to Thanksgiving dinner in Tel Aviv
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Lone soldiers dig in to Thanksgiving dinner in Tel Aviv

NGOs stump up for meal to give troops in Israel without family a chance to celebrate traditional American holiday

Lone soldiers and new immigrants from North America celebrate Thanksgiving. (Courtesy photo/NBN/Laura Ben-David)
Lone soldiers and new immigrants from North America celebrate Thanksgiving. (Courtesy photo/NBN/Laura Ben-David)

Some 200 lone Israeli soldiers from North America were to attend a special Thanksgiving dinner catered by a former lone soldier from New York.

The holiday dinner on Thursday, at the Beit Hachayal in Tel Aviv, was hosted by Nefesh B’Nefesh, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, the Jewish Agency for Israel, and the Jewish National Fund. The dinner allows the young immigrants without family in Israel to celebrate the traditional American holiday.

“When I was a lone soldier, I celebrated Thanksgiving with only a few friends,” said Idan Ianovici, owner of Vici Deli in Ra’anana, who served in the IDF’s Armored Corps. He prepared the soldiers a meal that includes cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and other traditional Thanksgiving fare.

The soldiers were to be joined by other new immigrants from North America.

“Thanksgiving is a very family-oriented holiday,” said Marc Rosenberg, director of pre-aliyah at Nefesh B’Nefesh. “We wanted to give new olim who arrived alone, including lone soldiers, the opportunity to celebrate this American holiday with other Anglo olim here in Tel Aviv.”

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