News & Media

Wings Program in Israel Attracts International Attention

Dec 02 2015

In a survey conducted by the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Merage Foundations, it was discovered that 90% of IDF volunteers move to Israel permanently after their service. The survey was conducted among immigrants who served as lone soldiers – individuals without immediate family in Israel – and today live in Israel after having been accompanied by the “Wings Program,” which helps ease the soldiers’ integration into civilian life and prepares them to live independently by offering them accompaniment by both professionals and volunteers and providing them with guidance on financial matters, employment, and academic studies.

This year marks the 10th year for the Wing Program. David Merage said, ““We are extremely pleased to have been a part of the journey of the ‘Wings’ program. Not only has the growth of the program been encouraging, but the impact of the program on lone soldiers and their families has been truly inspirational. ‘Wings’ was created when we identified a need to support lone immigrant soldiers and ease their transition out of military service. From workshops on higher education opportunities to lessons on navigating the systems for accessing national insurance payments to learning to read a rental contract, our goal has always been to prepare these young people for Israeli life after their service. And, today, I am so very proud of the work we have done, and am excited that the number of lone soldiers is increasing and the Wings program is growing to meet the demand,” David added.

To read more on the study results, check out this article from the Arutz Sheva Israel International News.

 *Photo: David Merage pictured with ‘Wings’ lone soldiers.