Thousands of lone soldiers volunteer each year to serve in the IDF to protect us - let’s help protect them.
500 discharged lone soldiers volunteer as Big Brothers and Sisters for other lone soldiers – let’s help support them.
The Big Brother Organization for Lone Soldiers
Ach Gadol is not about what we are but about who we are.
Over 10 years ago, we started a unique social initiative that aimed to provide support and guidance for young individuals trying to integrate into Israeli society on their own. We created a safe haven for this unique community and called it Ach Gadol.
An Ach Gadol – or Big Brother – is a volunteer who was once a lone soldier within their military service. Volunteers can reflect on personal experiences to provide each lone soldier with resilience, cultural competence, accessible information on how to exercise rights and most importantly, emotional support.
We embarked on this journey with 15 volunteers. Today we are going strong with over 500 volunteers. We provide ongoing support for over 1500 lone soldiers year round, and we prepare about 500 young individuals ahead of their military service each year.
The Organization’s Activity in Numbers
What is a Big Brother?
Your contribution can help another lone soldier
Volunteers share their story
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About Ach Gadol: Big Brother Organization for Lone Soldiers
There are currently 6,400 soldiers serving in the IDF who hold the status of a lone soldier. This population is split into two segments both lacking immediate familial ties: immigrants and native-born soldiers. Both types of soldiers eventually encounter differences in culture, education, economic status, and above all, face a lack of support from a nuclear family unit.
This sense of loneliness and the daily struggle to survive, can weaken a soldier’s resilience and divert their attention from their military missions. Young individuals that lack a strong support system can easily deteriorate into a negative lifestyle that leads many soldiers to end their military service prematurely or return to their country of origin.
The IDF and the United for Israel’s Soldiers Association (UFIS) actively support soldiers in terms of welfare, financial benefits, housing arrangements and additional benefits such as funding flights to visit parents in their country of origin. Soldiers are also provided with rights to
take days off to run errands, spend time with visiting parents and more. The Big Brother Association has been working alongside the IDF and UFIS as the only organization that provides each soldier with personal accompaniment and 1:1 guidance.
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