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Israel’s lone warriors: Foreign students answer the call to arms - opinion By Jonathan Davis

In the chaos following Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel, an unlikely cohort answered the call to arms: international students. These “lone soldiers” – volunteers who leave their home countries to serve in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) – exemplify the growing phenomenon of Diaspora Jews taking active roles in Israel’s security.

Three hundred former lone soldiers are enrolled at Reichman University’s Raphael Recanati International School. Strikingly, over 20% of these students, already IDF veterans, reported for reserve duty in the current conflict. Their choice is particularly poignant since, without family in Israel, they face unique hardships balancing military service with studies and part-time jobs.

Nichole Amar, a third-year American student, epitomizes this commitment. Called up before her final year began, she served over 100 days in a Home Front Command unit. “When I got the call, I didn’t think of my studies or well-being,” Amar reflects. “I felt at peace putting everything aside to join the family of reservists.”

THE WRITER (center) and Sylvia Kassoff (far right), head of student well-being on campus, meet with reservists after they were discharged.

(photo credit: JONATHAN DAVIS)


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