Triguboffs at dedication of an IDF meeting place

February 23, 2015 by Ahuva Bar-Lev
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Sydney’s Harry and Rhonda Triguboff are the patrons of a recently dedicated green meeting place in Raanana for lone soldiers who immigrated to Israel without their parents.

Harry Triguboff with Israeli soldiers in Raanana

Harry Triguboff with Israeli soldiers in Raanana

The pretty park has a green lawn, an impressive wooden deck, beautiful landscaping and pleasant seating areas for the benefit of the soldiers. The dedication ceremony was attended by representatives of KKL-JNF and the Israel Scouts, a group of soldiers and the donors, JNF Australia Patrons  from Sydney, Australia.

“It’s nice that there’s such a beautiful place to sit with friends and hang out together,” said nineteen-year-old Josh Sacks, who immigrated to Israel from Melbourne two months ago. “It’s wonderful to know that there are good people in Australia, who care about us and consider it important to help us. We’re defined as lone soldiers, but thanks to good friends and their great support, I really don’t feel alone.”

The immigrant soldiers left their homes and their families and decided to come to Israel in order to serve in the IDF, and in order to help these brave, young people in their absorption process, the Garin Tzabar Lone Soldiers program of the Israel Scouts movement has established group living centers in rural and urban locations all over Israel.

Harry and Rhonda Triguboff

Harry and Rhonda Triguboff

“We’ve found a home here and a family,” said Dima, a lone soldier, “and developing this park is a wonderful contribution not only for us but for all of Israel.”

Harry Triguboff, patron of JNF Australia, was moved by the words of thanks and said to the soldiers, “Maybe you were alone in the past, but now you have a family here. It’s important that there are organizations making sure the soldiers who immigrate to Israel feel welcome and like an integral part of Israel.”

About 400 young people arrive in Israel annually from all over the world through the Israel Scouts Garin Tzabar program—from North America, Europe, Australia, South America, South Africa and other countries, and most of them enlist in combat units. About 70% of them choose to remain in Israel after their army service, and the families of 30% of them join their children and immigrate to Israel, too.

A residential village was established at the absorption center of the Jewish Agency in Raanana, with 32 apartments for 120 immigrant soldiers. “This place is their home, and the Garin Tzabar group is their family,” said Noa Hakim, coordinator of the Garin Tzabar program of the Israel Scouts organization. “It’s important for them to have a neat, pretty, and comfortable place to be on weekends, because Garin Tzabar serves as their home away from home.”

Indeed, the drab absorption center has gotten a face lift thanks to the new park. When you see the soldiers sitting on the new benches, talking to each other, enjoying the well-tended surroundings and gathering their strength before returning to their army bases and their demanding duties, you understand that sometimes a green garden can have great significance.

KKL-JNF was represented at the ceremony by Zeev Kedem, Director of the KKL-JNF Resources Division, who mentioned the many and diverse projects that KKL-JNF establishes and maintains throughout Israel in the fields of afforestation and ecology, water resources development, agricultural research and development, tourism and the environment. In relation to the unique project that was carried out thanks to the support of Mr. Triguboff, Kedem noted that “we all identify with the immigrant soldiers who have come from the ends of the earth to serve the State of Israel, and we’re sure that they will enjoy this garden,” he said.

Kedem warmly thanked the people of JNF Australia, who promoted the green yard for the soldiers project, led by Alex Abulafia, chairman of JNF New South Wales, Dan Springer, the CEO of JNF Australia and Yigal Shafir, KKL-JNF Emissary in Australia.

“All members of the Israel Scouts have to wear a necktie,” declared Eli Ben Yosef, the Chairman of the Israel Scouts organization, who then called Harry and Rhonda Triguboff to the podium and outfitted them with ties like those worn by the regular counselors of the Israel Scouts youth movement.

“When people say I do a lot for Israel, I think of all that Israel has done for the Jewish people of the world,” said Harry Triguboff at the conclusion of the ceremony. “We have to continue working together to make Israel a better and greater place, and that’s what we’re going to do.”


One Response to “Triguboffs at dedication of an IDF meeting place”
  1. Jeff gould says:

    It would, I’m sure, be very much appreciated if maybe some-one would care to organize a meeting place for us older I.D.F.veterans residing in Melbourne. Somewhere where we could yarn over a coffee now and again. 2710329

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