Here are some of the life-changing programs that the Friends of Israel Defense Forces offers to support, empower, and transform IDF soldiers, veterans, and their families.

Identity & Purpose

FIDF’s Identity & Purpose programs conduct multiple courses for soldiers and commanders that focus on Jewish values and identity. Through seminars, workshops, discussion groups, and field trips, these programs allow soldiers to explore their Jewish identities and help them develop better personal and interpersonal skills. Shabbat dinners and celebration of Jewish holidays allow soldiers to enjoy traditional customs while away from their families and homes. Such spiritual support warms the soldiers’ hearts, strengthens their spirits during difficult times, and provides a piece of home and heritage.

Israel Journey

Through FIDF’s Israel Journey program, IDF soldiers and commanders explore Israel’s rich sites, history and culture. Soldiers of all backgrounds embark on a six-day journey throughout Israel, each day focusing on a new layer of identity and a different region of the country. The journey allows soldiers to discover their roots, reflect upon the connections between themselves and society, and strengthen their understanding of Jewish traditions—and to appreciate the critical nature of their mission.

Witnesses in Uniform

Witnesses in Uniform program offers soldiers a firsthand look at the unfathomable horrors of the Holocaust, providing a new, profound understanding of their Jewish identity and heritage. The Witnesses in Uniform program visits the sites of death camps in Poland with career officers and commanders, reserve soldiers, family members of fallen soldiers and Holocaust survivors.

The journey invariably strengthens their resolve to persevere, to protect their nation, and to declare, “Never again.”

Formal Education

FIDF’s Formal Education program, sponsored by The Iranian American Jewish Federation (IAJF), allows soldiers who were previously unable to attain a high school degree to pursue an educational equivalent while serving their country. FIDF seeks to increase opportunities for these soldiers to reenter civilian life on an even footing with their peers. FIDF also offers the “Bagrut” Matriculation Certificate Course, which prepares soldiers for their high school matriculation exams, a prerequisite for higher education in Israel. Completing these exams is the first step toward building a better life for these men and women upon their release from the military.


FIDF’s IMPACT! Scholarship program gives four-year scholarships to former combat soldiers from low socioeconomic backgrounds, which enable them to achieve their dreams of higher education. This one-of-a-kind program also provides funds to cover soldiers’ living expenses while they study and gives them the unique benefit of direct contact with their sponsors in the United States. With the success of the program, over 10,000 alumni are represented in nearly every field, and dozens are now donors themselves!

Uniform to University

FIDF’s Uniform to University program provides tuition assistance to all honorably discharged soldiers who have completed their full mandatory service. This initiative holds the potential to have a dramatic impact on Israeli society by expanding educational opportunity to all Israelis who have served their country. We seek to elevate soldiers with the greatest need by helping them jump-start their careers and ultimately end cycles of poverty.


FIDF’s Momentum program assists IDF soldiers with their transition out of the army and back into civilian life, which can sometimes be challenging. We provide the tools, skills and opportunities for soldiers to reenter civilian life with confidence and direction. Services offered include empowerment seminars and skills workshops for soldiers still on active duty, post-army workshops, digital media support, and mentoring programs after discharge. Transitional assistance helps soldiers pursue higher education, jump-start their careers, and ultimately contribute to the economy.

Project Overcome

FIDF’s Project Overcome offers young people who struggle with emotional problems, addictions, low self-esteem or a lack of ambition a second chance. Traditionally, these at-risk youth were not considered fit for the IDF and had few opportunities to gain successful employment. Through Project Overcome, they have a chance to reform their behavior and gain tools and life skills that are relevant for army service and as professionals in the civilian market.

Participation in this program during their IDF service offers these soldiers a clean slate, a chance to discover exciting new capabilities in themselves, and a path to change their future.


FIDF’s Dignity program provides soldiers in need and their families with essential items such as furniture, electrical appliances, and other living necessities. For those with severe financial difficulties, FIDF provides monetary assistance through special grants. In addition, holiday gift vouchers are distributed twice per year. Our assistance allows soldiers to focus on their service without worrying about financial concerns at home.

Wounded Soldiers

FIDF’s Wounded Soldiers program helps disabled and newly injured Israeli combat soldiers put the pieces of their lives back together following a severe wound, injury, or trauma. Soldier-to-soldier mentoring programs enable newly injured soldiers to interact with others who have been through similar experiences. The sense of community and personal empowerment that develop are vital to the healing process. The program begins on the hospital bed and continues until the injured soldiers are not only able to return to their own lives but ready to help others do so as well.

Bereaved Families

FIDF supports thousands of bereaved families who have suffered the devastating loss of a loved one fallen during military service. We stand with them as they rebuild their futures, remaining by their side for Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, holidays and other major celebrations throughout their lives. One of FIDF’s signature programs is the LEGACY Summer Camp program where B’nai Mitzvah children or siblings of fallen soldiers are sponsored to attend summer camp in the United States. They are given the unique opportunity to bond with other children who have also experienced loss and can relate to their struggles and even learn to smile again. Retreats and programs are also offered for widows and widowers.