If you ask our soldiers what programs have changed their lives the most, without hesitation they will tell you that it is the delegation trip they took to one of our host Jewish communities. In 2007 we sent our first delegation of 12 soldiers to Seattle. Today we are also in many other cities, including New York, London, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Los Angeles and Paris, but the transformative format remains the same.
Soldiers are adopted by host families in each community, and these relationships after just 8 or 9 days become lifelong friendships. The soldiers spend the week bonding with each other, participating in group therapy sessions on how to live in a better state of mind no matter what their injury is, touring and educating the community about the ethical commitment and sacrifice of Israeli combat soldiers. During this week, many of the soldiers have life changing realizations about their lives and their ability to live their dreams, even if their dreams won’t be the same as they were before.