Our vision is that all lone combat soldiers will have a real home to call their own for the duration of their army service, and should be able to stay in Israel and prosper thereafter.​

Our vision is that all lone combat soldiers will have a real home to call their own for theThe Benji Hillman Foundation was established in memory of Major Benji Hillman z”l, killed in action in the Lebanese village of Moran a-Ras at the beginning of the Second Lebanon War on July 20, 2006.

At the shiva, Benji’s family heard from many people they had never met before (especially the soldiers under his command, in particular, lone soldiers) how Benji had helped them and taken care of them, above and beyond the call of duty.

Inspired to do something significant to honor his memory, the family and close friends set up the Benji Hillman Foundation, to help lone soldiers.​

After much research, both through talking to soldiers and to the IDF, the Foundation decided to establish HaBayit shel Benji (Benji’s Home), a purpose-built home for lone combat soldiers, and guidance center for all lone soldiers, in Benji’s home town, Ra’anana.​duration of their army service, and should be able to stay in Israel and prosper thereafter.​



Saul Rurka

Founder and CEO

The driving force behind The Benji Hillman Foundation, Benji’s first cousin, Saul Rurka, is a social and hitech entrepreneur who studied law at Bar Ilan University.

Since founding the organization in August 2006, soon after Benji’s tragic death, Saul has dedicated his efforts to setting up and building HaBayit shel Benji, and assumes overall responsibility for the smooth running of the Home and the Guidance Center.

Living in close proximity to HaBayit shel Benji, Saul eats with the soldiers on Friday evenings, and takes a personal interest in each and every soldier in the Bayit. He knows them all by name, and they all know that he is available to them, any time of the day or night, by phone or whatsapp, if they have any problems with which they need help, acting in loco parentis for some of them.

In his spare time, Saul serves on the Board of the SPCA (Ramat Gan), and assists a number of different charities in Israel (welfare, animals and medical).


Ruth Rurka

Administration Manager

Benji’s Aunt, Ruth Rurka, takes care of all aspects of the administration, a myriad of tasks too numerous to mention.

Ruth and her husband David made Aliyah from London in 1981 (with their four children) and made their home in Ra’anana, to be followed soon afterwards by Ruth’s sister Judy and her husband Danny, with their children, Abigail, Benji ז”ל and Shimon.


Dana Barzilai

Guidance Center Manager

Ra’anana native, Dana Barzilai, the Manager of the Guidance Center joined the staff of the Bayit in February 2014 after a twelve-year career in human resources in a variety of companies. Dana established the Guidance Center together with Saul Rurka and then devised and developed its work practices. Dana is responsible for its day-to-day management, including recruiting hundreds of newly released lone soldiers from all over Israel to the Personal Guidance Program.


Shani Moshe

Guidance Center – Mentor Coordinator

Shani joined the Guidance Center staff after ten years in human resources in various Israeli companies. Prior to that, she worked as a journalist. Shani is responsible for the volunteer mentors and content experts.


Chen Arbel

Guidance Center – Guidance Coordinator

Chen who joined the Guidance Center staff of HaBayit shel Benji in September 2019, has a BA in Social Sciences, specializing in human resources. Chen who previously worked in the field of human resources and social projects is responsible for devising personalized guidance programs for each lone soldier due to be discharged.