Fighters for Life

Fighters for Life was established to give recently released IDF soldiers a meaningful community service project in a developing country before commencing their journey of self-discovery.

Location: Petach Tikva, Israel
Year founded: 2013

Description

About Fighters for Life: 

Fighters for Life was established as a non-profit organization in 2013 by three Israeli Defense Forces combat officers in an effort to change the global public image of the IDF and Israel. After serving in the military, many Israelis choose to spend a significant amount of time traveling through developing countries around the world. The main goals of the organization are to give recently released soldiers a meaningful community service project to commence their journey of self-discovery, and to change the global public image of the IDF and Israel.

While the international image of Israel and the IDF is not always positive, Fighters For Life provides a unique opportunity for former soldiers to represent the IDF in a way that is significantly different from the general global portrayal through the media. Through the core Jewish value of Tikkun Olam (or 'repairing the world') the organization enables former IDF soldiers to represent the true people of Israel through their desire to help those in need.


What We do:

The first Fighters for Life mission was in memory of Staff Sgt. Daniel Pomerantz, who fell in combat during Operation Protective Edge. In September 2014, an aid mission was carried out in a children's shelter in Mumbai, India, in cooperation with the Israeli Consulate and Jewish community of Mumbai. The volunteers renovated the home, taught the children English, crafts, and personal hygiene, as well as a Krav Maga self-defense class for the girls. 

The aid mission received wide press coverage by 8 local media outlets (i.e. The "Times of India") - thus exposing 86 million people to the contribution of these IDF soldiers to the community in Mumbai. This shed a new light on IDF soldiers, one very different, and much more complementary than what the global media usually portrays.

The vision of Fighters for Life is to achieve a significant humanitarian impact worldwide through sustained volunteer effort on multiple continents, thereby profoundly changing the image of IDF soldiers around the world. 

In the months prior to their trip abroad, participants volunteer in community service projects around Israel. This is an inseparable part of the organization’s mission as we believe that before volunteering abroad, we have a responsibility to contribute to our own community.

Two more delegations will depart in 2015, to Mumbai (September) and Buenos Aires (December). We would like to expand our activities in South America, and expand to Africa and other countries in the far-east.


Who We Are:

"Fighters for Life" is a nonprofit organization (NPO) run and managed solely on volunteer basis. The current president of FFL is a former Commander in Chief of the Israeli Air Force and former CEO of El-Al Airlines, Major General (res.) Eliezer Shkedi.


Support Us:

As a non profit organization, all Fighters for Life activities are based on donations. At present, the core of our operation relies heavily on our ability to fund the missions. This is what enables us to fully utilize the immense number of Israeli backpackers traveling the world.

The cost of a full two-week volunteer mission for 25 backpackers is $7500. This includes all costs - food, lodging, transportation, gear, insurance and other expenses.

Our long term plan is to organize these aid missions on a regular basis and with much greater volume. We see it becoming an integral part of "The Big Trip" experience for every demobilized IDF soldier (In the last decade, over 400,000 Israelis traveled in developing countries as part of their post-military trip).

If you share our desire for the world to see the best of Israel's beloved IDF soldiers, and to facilitate advocacy and action on behalf of Jews throughout the world, please take part in our organization.

Every donation or support helps, allowing us to grow and expand our operations to more countries and continents.


Media: 

Here is a 3 minute video of the first FFL mission to Mumbai: https://youtu.be/seZ3y8RBrTA

Learn why the "Atid Plus" foundation supports Fighters for Life: https://youtu.be/-tYNmsQ6w5E

Nobel Prize Laureate Prof. Yisrael Aumann discussing Fighters for Life: https://youtu.be/542SwKbDuak


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