Israel has been in a near-continuous state of conflict since the day of its proclamation, some seventy years ago. It has sustained its military through compulsory service. The overwhelming majority of those in its Defense Forces were born in Israel, raised alongside this notion of service. But theirs is not the only story of Israel’s soldiers.
There is a group of young men and women, non-Israelis numbering in the thousands, who come from countries around the world and volunteer intothis legacy. For them, the price of admission into Israeli society is this very service. They are called Â»lone soldiers.Â« Canadian photo-essayist Brant Slomovic considers their story through portraits and a survey of Israel’s landscape. He asks where they came from, who they are, and why they sought out Israel as their home.
About the authors
Matti Friedman’s 2016 book Pumpkinflowers was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book and as one of Amazon’s 10 Best Books of the Year. It was selected as one of the year’s best by Booklist, Mother Jones, Foreign Affairs, the National Post, and the Globe and Mail. It also won the Vine Award in Canada. Matti’s first book, The Aleppo Codex won the 2014 Sami Rohr Prize, the ALA’s Sophie Brody Medal, and the Canadian Jewish Book Award for history and was translated into seven languages. Friedman’s work as a reporter has taken him from Israel to Lebanon, Morocco, Moscow, the Caucasus, and Washington, DC, and his writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, The Atlantic, the Washington Post, and elsewhere. A former Associated Press correspondent, Friedman is a regular contributor to Tablet Magazine and the Jewish Review of Books. He grew up in Toronto and now lives with his family in Jerusalem.