Habayit shel Benji, (Benji’s Home) is Israel’s only purpose built home for lone combat soldiers.
Located in Ra’anana, HaBayit shel Benji, named after Major Benji Hillman, killed in battle in the Second Lebanon War, 3 weeks after his wedding, provides pleasant and spacious accommodation for 75 lone combat soldiers for the entire length of their service. Each soldier has their own room, home cooked meals, laundry services, a common room and library, leisure and recreation activities, matching soldiers with local families and more. Most importantly, skilled experienced and sympathetic staff and local volunteers are present 24 hours a day to lend an ear and provide emotional support.
The Bayit also runs a Lone Soldier Guidance Center for lone soldiers after their service to allow an easy adjustment to civilian life in Israel. The center assists with finding an apartment and furnishing it, looking for a job, further studies (university and trade schools), dealing with bureaucracy and rights. Finally the center provides mentoring to allow the former soldiers to learn how to manage their finances correctly.
The 2,700 m² home is surrounded by 400m² gardens in which our soldiers relax and entertain their friends. In order to strengthen their connection to the land which they dedicate their lives to protecting, we intend to establish a “Biblical Garden”, filled with the “7 Species” (Shivat Haminim in Hebrew) mentioned in the Torah as the main produce of the land of Israel, and other plants and trees indigenous to Israel.
In addition to building a peaceful haven for our soldiers to relax in when they come home from the field, with the soothing sound of the waterfall in the background, HaBayit shel Benji’s Biblical Garden will be used to teach local schoolchildren about the plants and herbs of the Bible. The garden will be watered via drip irrigation, which saves water, one of Israel’s most precious commodities.
To read more about HaBayit shel Benji please visit http://www.benjihillman.org/