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    Habayit Shel Benji

    The year 2012 will see the opening of 'Habayit Shel Benji' - a unique home for lone soldiers and soldiers from disadvantaged backgrounds - in Rehov Haprachim Raanana. Built in memory of Benji Hillman z"l, who fell in the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Ha'bayit Shel Benji will house 50 lone soldiers and soldiers from disadvantaged backgrounds. The project was supported from the outset by mayor Nahum Hofri, and the municipality, which donated the land on which it is built.

    Beni Hillman, a Company Commander in the Egoz unit of the Golani brigade, was killed in action in July 2006. He was an outstanding leader of men, who cared deeply about the soldiers under his command. Benji and his family came on Aliyah from the UK.

    "We wanted to commemorate Benji in a way that would reflect what was important to him," says Danny Hillman, Benji's father "Benji was especially concerned about soldiers who have no family in Israel, or who have a difficult family background. Building a home for lone soldiers and soldiers from disadvantaged backgrounds was something that we felt was absolutely the right way to perpetuate his memory."

    Habayit Shel Benji differs from other soldiers' homes in that the soldiers living there will have their own room where they can keep personal belongings, just as if it were their room in their family home. There will be meals, a laundry, library, a gym and a computer and call center for keeping in touch with families abroad.

    The five years of planning and fund-raising for Habayit Shel Benji were spear-headed by Benji's cousin, Saul Rurka who was instrumental in raising the $3 million needed for the construction. Funds were raised both in Israel and abroad. The main fund-raising event in Israel is the annual Benji Hillman Walk, which this year will take place in Raanana on Friday 4th May 2012.

    When "Habayit Shel Benji" is open, there will be volunteer and "adopting a soldier" opportunities for those who wish to support this unique and worthwhile project. For further information, please visit:

    www.benjihillman.org

    or on Facebook: Habayit Shel Benji