Happy days for soldiers

IDF personnel feel uplifted by letters of support from abroad. “They don’t think that anybody cares,” explains project founder Lieutenant Keren Hajioff

IDF personnel feel uplifted by letters of support from abroad. “They don’t think that anybody cares,” explains project founder Lieutenant Keren Hajioff

A former Hasmonean pupil now serving as an officer in the Israeli army is seeking British support for a scheme she has launched to boost the morale of fellow soldiers.

Lieutenant Keren Hajioff wants community members to "make a soldier smile" by sending letters of motivation and gratitude to young Israelis training to be officers.

The 21-year-old, who grew up in Finchley, made aliyah after a gap year in Israel with FZY. She started the project to show soldiers how important their work was.

"They don't think that anybody cares," she said.

"These trainees are enduring the most difficult training in the IDF. They are doing it in order to protect Israel. They are risking their lives in order to protect ours and for that they must be thanked."

Lieutenant Hajioff has already received 300 letters, which she described as "an amazing response. I hope people realise what an effect they can have on these soldiers even by sending one letter."

Helping to co-ordinate the project from the UK end is the Zionist Federation, whose deputy director Gary Sakol said: "I doubt many people in the UK realise the enormous strain caused in one's personal life from being in the army.

"We owe these young soldiers an enormous amount of gratitude."

Letters should be sent to office@zfuk.org

    Last updated: 1:41pm, May 26 2011