Our Mission

Every year, hundreds of young men and women come to Israel from around the world to serve in the IDF, risking their own lives to protect the lives of the Jewish nation. Chayal el Chayal’s mission is to provide a warm and welcoming home for these Lone Soldiers. A family that provides an invaluable framework of assistance in the physical, spiritual and emotional aspects of their daily lives.

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Our History

At 18 years old, Mordy Botnick left his hometown of Ottawa, Canada to join the IDF. Arriving at Ben Gurion Airport after midnight with nowhere to go and only 40$ in his pocket, he took a taxi to the Machane Yehuda Market (Shuk) in Jerusalem. There, He found a small quiet corner to lay down his bags and catch a few hours of sleep. The journey had begun. In the morning, he reached out to a Rabbi who invited him to stay in his Yeshiva a few minutes away. Mordy spent the next few months there finishing up the enlistment process and beginning his volunteer military service in Netzach Yehuda.

One weekend off, in midst of his deployment, Mordy found himself without a Shabbat invitation. Rather than being alone, he gathered a group of fellow Lone Soldiers and arranged a group effort to create a Shabbat experience. This revealed the necessity for a call to action. To create a network and a home for the IDF lone soldiers. Continuing to host soldiers for Shabbat meals as often as possible, Mordy finished his service, and Chayal el Chayal was born.

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