The Scouts Lone Soldiers Program: Garin Tzabar (Meaning: Israeli native core or seed) is a program for young Diaspora Jews who choose to immigrant to Israel and serve in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Today there are 300 lone soldiers supported by Garin Tzabar every year. Each one belongs to a group (Garin) of approximately 20 soldiers who live together at a kibbutz and choose to experience their military service together as a social unit mutual support and camaraderie. It is the largest IDF immigrant program in Israel, partnered with the Israel Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, with more than 2,500 soldiers since inception.

Garin Tzabar Mission

Create a group framework of guidance and support for young Jews and Israelis living abroad who choose to spend a significant time in Israel and to serve in the IDF.


Create a safe environment for a thorough preparation process prior to the arrival in Israel. 


Offer assistance in the absorption process of both the individual and the group, prior and during the military service.


The Israel Scouts adopts and accompanies the lone soldiers all the way in 3 stages:


Stage 1: The Preparation Process in North America and abroad.  8 months prior to the lone soldiers arrival to Israel the Friends of Israel Scouts conducts weekend seminars with informative sessions to participants and families; group dynamic; open discussions about the military service, immigration, and life in Israel and the


Stage 2: The Absorption Process in Israel.  3 months prior to the military service the participants are placed in  a  hosting  kibbutz  that  becomes  their  home  away  from  home;  prepared  for  the  military  service;  attend educational activities; tour Israel; and learn Hebrew at  the Ulpan class. This process is monitored by a Scout member and handled by the Group staff who live at the Kibbutz and includes Director, Counselor, Hebrew teachers, IDF soldiers and educators.

Stage 3: The Military Service. During the 2 to 3 years military service the soldiers receive personal guidance and support; participate at group seminars and trips; enjoy weekends and holidays with adoptive families at the Kibbutz; work closely with the IDF Officials and Scouts Garin staff to resolve personal and military issues.

Garin Tzabar Facts

22 Years of programming and 2,513 participants (from 1991 to date)

52% men and 48% women

16 groups (Garinim) all over the world, 10 in North America

48 Different army positions (among them in combat and field units)

32 Kibbutzim participated in the program

17 countries are part of Garin Tzabar

100 participants annually in an early Hebrew Ulpan (school for Hebrew language)

Program Eligibility

Females: ages 17–23 (18th birthday must be in November next year or beforehand)

Males: ages 17-24 (18th birthday must be in November next year or beforehand)

Certificate of Good Conduct (proof of no prior criminal record)

High-school graduate (or in the process of completing high school in 2007)

Commitment to participate in the program as defined in the admissions packet.

Basic comprehension of Hebrew

Prior visits to Israel, or life in Israel for an accumulated time of two months or more.