The “In My Brothers’ Company” Program – Mentors for Soldiers
Military or civil service, mandatory for citizens of Israel from age 18, is one of the most significant parts of the maturation process of youth in Israel. A meaningful service can sometimes be a refuge or a launchpad for these young people.
At the same time, the rigid, intense, hierarchical framework of the military can pose significant challenges for enlisted youth, especially for soldiers who are the first generation of their families to serve in the military. According to studies, the vast majority of soldiers who desert and face incarceration during their service come from disadvantaged immigrant populations—children of immigrants from Ethiopia or the Caucasus, members of the Bnei Menashe, and others.
Commanders in the army have indicated the great need for strengthening the “family front.” To this end, the program “In My Brothers’ Company” was proposed, to address the need of soldiers at risk of desertion or imprisonment, with the mentorship of experienced and sensitive civilians. Under this program, mentors guide at-risk soldiers throughout their military service and help them cope with difficulties and challenges that arise, to ultimately complete a full and meaningful service.
The “In My Brothers’ Company” program was founded in collaboration with the JDC, the IDF and the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration.
Since 2014, Menifa has provided mentorship to hundreds of soldiers, both at military bases and in military prisons, all over the country.
There are two tracks for volunteering:
Personal Mentor – Including meetings with a soldier and ongoing contact throughout the week.
Group Mentor – Including coaching and counseling a group of at-risk youth who are soon to be recruited, to empower them and prepare them for their service.
Menifa is recognized by the IDF as eligible to provide serve to every soldier in the army.
The program has been guided by an evaluation study conducted by the Szold Institute.
For more information and to apply to volunteer with In My Brothers’ Company, please contact director of the program Shai Sharoni, at 052-356-7694
This program is supported by Fox-Wizel Ltd, the Manor Foundation, and the Rashi Foundation.