Lone Soldiers (Chayalim Bodedim)

A Chayal Boded is a soldier whose parents live outside of Israel for at least 9 months per year. Soldiers with this status are entitled to a variety of benefits.‏

The IDF aids lone soldiers who do not have a financial supporter during their service, such as: soldiers whose parents who have emigrated from the country, new immigrants who have arrived in Israel on their own, orphans and soldiers who do not have contact with their families. If you are a lone soldier in need of aid, apply at the IDF Recruitment Center. After the request has been submitted, you will receive a reply by mail.‏

Lone soldiers receive a fixed monthly grant, in addition to monthly wages and a rental subsidy. Further information regarding benefits are available at recruitment centers.

  • Other Housing Options: Chayalim Bodedim can be "adopted" by a kibbutz, in which case the kibbutz is entitled to receive the rental subsidy that the soldier gets from the Ministry of Construction and Housing. Most kibbutzim are also happy to arrange adoptive families for the chayalim. Chayalim Bodedim also have the option of receiving army housing, though many find that it is not at the standard that they are accustomed to.‏
  • Exemption from municipal property tax
  • Vacation: A Chayal Boded is entitled to up to one month off per year to visit his family abroad. Organizations such as Agudah L'Man HaChayal sometimes help subsidize the cost.‏
  • Cash Vouchers: These vouchers are distributed prior to Rosh HaShana and Pesach and can be used in approximately 50 stores.‏
  • Calling Card: Chayalim Bodedim receive a 60-minute international calling card each month

Benefits for Chayalim Bodedim from the Government:

In addition to the Sal Klita (Absorption Basket) that all immigrants receive during their first eight months in Israel, Chayalim Bodedim are also awarded an additional 352 NIS per month from the Ministry of Absorption. After their first year in the country, Chayalim Bodedim receive 230 NIS per month from the Ministry of Absorption. In order to receive these benefits, the soldier must bring his army identification card, Teudat Oleh, and Chayal Boded letter (issued by the army) to the Ministry of Absorption. If, for whatever reason, the soldier does not receive these benefits when he is initially eligible, they can be obtained retroactively for up to a year.‏

The Chayal Boded is entitled to rental assistance through the Ministry of Construction and Housing. He will receive 424 NIS per month once he has been in Israel for at least a year. This assistance must be renewed every six months. To receive this benefit, the Chayal Boded must go to the Ministry of Construction and Housing with his army identification card, Teudat Oleh, and Chayal Boded letter.‏

When do you have time to deal with everything?

Chayalim Bodedim are entitled to a 'yom sidurim' (errand day) once per month.  In the beginning of a chayal's service, it is possible to get this day off once a week.‏


* All amounts of money listed are current as of the time of the writing of this article. Please be aware that they are subject to change.‏
* Above payments are in addition to the regular army service salary.

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