Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving in Israel

Several organizations in Israel held Thanksgiving dinner for American-born ‘lone soldiers.’

The Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin on Thursday hosted a Thanksgiving meal and football tournament for more than 300 soldiers who have come to Israel to serve in the Israel Defense Forces and have left their parents, family and friends behind.

The American Jewish Committee celebrated the 10th anniversary of its annual Thanksgiving Dinner for lone American soldiers. Some 30 soldiers from across all IDF units attended the dinner at the AJC offices in Jerusalem.

Each year since captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was held by Hamas, the AJC Thanksgiving dinner featured an empty seat prepared in his honor. This year the seat was not present.

Nefesh B’ Nefesh hosted 50 lone solders and over 100 young professional olim for its fifth annual Nefesh B’ Nefesh Thanksgiving dinner.

“This was a great opportunity for young professionals and lone soldiers to enjoy a traditional festive meal and express their thanks together with fellow Olim from around the country for their good fortune,” said Rachel Kaufman, Events & Programs Coordinator at Nefesh B’Nefesh.

The IDF gives leave to all lone soldiers who request to attend Thanksgiving dinner, according to the Lone Soldier Center.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.