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August 30, 2016 / 26 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘lone soldier’

Knesset Committee Approves $80 Million to Support New Immigrants

Monday, August 15th, 2016

The Knesset Finance Committee, headed by MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism), on Monday approved the transfer of an additional $80 million to the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, mainly for the purpose of finding housing solutions for elderly immigrants.

Some of the funds are designated for encouraging entrepreneurship among new immigrants from France, Belgium, and Ukraine.

Of the amount allotted, about $68 million are designated for housing solutions for elderly immigrants; $4 million for encouraging entrepreneurship among new immigrants, including employment fairs and seminars for new immigrants, coupons for Hebrew lessons, absorption-related activities in local authorities, encouraging Aliyah abroad by strengthening the professional capabilities of potential olim, and adding more operators to the information call center for those interested in making Aliyah; $2 million for the implementation of the government’s decision to allow members of the Bnei Menashe community entry into Israel, and $1.3 million are designated for increasing the assistance provided to immigrant soldiers who are recognized by the IDF as lone soldiers or as soldiers who are eligible for family stipends.

JNi.Media

Fallen ‘Lone Soldiers’ Leave a Family and Country in Mourning

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

By Joshua B. Dermer/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Ten years after the death of her son Michael, an American-born IDF soldier who fell in battle, Harriet Levin is still learning to cope.

“Every day is different,” Levin said in an interview with Tazpit Press Service (TPS) on the eve of Israel’s Memorial Day, which begins Tuesday night. “I’ve learned to deal, but then there are really bad days – I call them my ‘Michael days.’”

First Sgt. Michael Levin died during the Second Lebanon War in 2006. Serving in Battalion 890 of the Paratroopers unit, Michael was killed by anti-tank fire while clearing a building in Aita Al Shaab, a city in southern Lebanon. He was 21 years old.

Levin represents a group of soldiers known as “lone soldiers” – citizens of other countries who leave behind their families and friends and come to serve in the Israel Defense Forces.

Thousands of lone soldiers serve in the IDF. During Operation Protective Edge in 2014, three lone soldiers, two Americans and one French, were killed in action in the Gaza Strip.

Since 2009, four lone soldier centers across Israel have been established in Michael Levin’s memory.

“Mostly I just try to focus on the good that we’re doing in his memory and that really keeps me going,” Harriet Levin said. The centers are “run by lone soldiers so they really understand their needs,” she added. “We just keep growing and getting better and better.”

Joshua Flaster, director of the Lone Soldier Center and a former lone soldier serving in an infantry unit, helped establish the center along with his comrades after completing his service.

“I came to Israel 11 years ago on my own, as a lone soldier, and sadly have lost good friends in the army,” Flaster told TPS. “Since my release from active-duty service I’ve had to say goodbye far too early to lone soldiers I’d helped advise and integrate into Israel.”

Memorial Day, known in Hebrew as Yom Hazikaron, carries special weight for soldiers, lone or otherwise.

“Yom Hazikaron is a day of sad reflection and, of course, a little scary for any soldier,” Flaster said. “Soldiers are sent to stand by the graves of members of their unit who fell before them. A country comes to a stand-still and as a nation we take on the pain, loss, and price paid to be a free people in our own land.”

Harriet attended the Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin ceremony at Jerusalem’s Ammunition Hill on Tuesday, which featured the untold stories of fallen lone soldiers.

“It’s not only the loss of my son but the loss of all of Israel’s children, both in wars and terrorism, who have given their lives so we have a homeland,” Levin said. “He’s not the only one. He came here from the States and he really didn’t have to, but that’s what really makes Israel so fabulous.”

The differences between Memorial Day in the U.S. and Israel are “like night and day,” Levin said.

“The United States just doesn’t get what a Memorial Day is,” she said. “In the States it’s about barbecues and sales and opening your shorehouse and it has nothing to do with people who have given their lives for their country – here that’s all it’s about.”

Michael is remembered for his smile, courage, and unhalting Zionism.

“His smile would melt you and his eyes would twinkle,” Levin told TPS. “But his seriousness came through when it came to Israel. He had a passion for Israel and a love for this country. He was doing exactly what he wanted to do with his life.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Mazel Tov!

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

Israeli lone soldier Eliezer First surprised his girlfriend Rachel Shechter who came to visit him at the army base in Gush Etzion with an engagement proposal, on May 1, 2016.

From the smiles, we assume that she said yes.

Surprise Engagement

Surprise Engagement

Photo of the Day

Lone Soldier Menachem Mendel Gordon is Overwhelmed After his Mother is Flown to Israel for his Paratrooper Graduation Ceremony [video]

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

Grab your tissues.

Mindi Levine Gordon hasn’t seen her son Menachem Mendel Gordon in 18 months, so Standing Together 24/7 IDF flew her in to be there as her Lone Soldier graduates and earns his red Paratroopers beret following a 60 kilometer march at 4 AM this morning!

(The videos are on Facebook, so they may take a moment to load.)

Part I – The March into Jerusalem

Get the tissues ready!We (Standing Together 24/7 IDF) heard there was a mother who hasn't seen her son (Lone Soldier) in over a year, so we decided to surprise them and flew mommy in to unite them! Got up at 4 am to accompany her son's unit as they finish their last kilometer of their final March. Best feeling in the world!Watch the second part and the actual meeting between mom and son here https://www.facebook.com/AriFuld/videos/vb.796250540/10156609794400541/?type=2&theaterPosted by Ari Fuld on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

 

 

Part II – Lone IDF Soldier Menachem Mendel Gordon Meets His Mother For the First Time in 18 Months Following His 60 Kilometer Masa Kumtah

I cannot even begin to describe the high that I'm on right now!Mindi Levine Gordon hasn't seen her son in 18 months, so Standing Together 24/7 IDF flew her in to be there as her Lone Soldier graduates and earns his red beret! I caught their initial meeting and WOW!#AmYisraelChaiPosted by Ari Fuld on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Videos by Ari Fuld.

Video of the Day

Mazel Tov

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

Mazel Tov to two lone IDF soldiers, Moshe Rosen and Helen Marcus, on their engagement.

Helen and Moshe are both new Olim from the U.S. They met in Jerusalem.

A lone soldier is someone who serves in the IDF without benefit of having parents living in Israel. It can be exceptionally difficult experience.

The photo was taken at the Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin in Jerusalem, an organization that provides lone soldiers with a home away from home.

Helen Marcus also happens to be the daughter of JewishPress.com senior correspondent Lori Lowenthal Marcus.

Mazel Tov!

Photo of the Day

New York Female Lone Soldier Overcome Cancer to Be IDF Officer

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Rotem Chiprut, a ”lone soldier” from New York, has shown the IDF how much she is a real fighter by overcoming cancer and a discharge from the IDF to return as an officer

Under the heat of the Negev sun, Rotem was one of officer cadets standing at attention with their weapons in hand after having completed their officers’ training course after four months of intense training in leadership, management, and professionalism.

Her story is unique, one of a young how has proven Herzl’s phrase, “If you will it, it is no dream.”

Originally born in New York, Rotem moved to Israel at the age of just a few months. After spending 12 years growing up in Israel, her family moved back to the United States where she finished high school in New Jersey.

Upon completing high school, Rotem planned to follow the same path as her friends: attend a college and study for a bachelor’s degree. She began the process of registering for university when her family took a trip to Israel. “I saw the soldiers on the street and realized that people my age were all a part of something bigger,” she remembers. “I also wanted to protect my country and be a real part of my country.”

After a long discussion with her parents, Rotem immigrated to Israel with the goal of joining the IDF. “I was so excited to enlist,” Rotem recalls. “When I first put on my uniform I was so proud of myself. I said to myself ‘I came here to do something, and I’m here. I did it.’”

Rotem serves in the IDF as a lone soldier – one whose parents live outside of the country. “I am technically far from my family and home, but I am always at home here in Israel,” Rotem proudly states.

In the middle of her service, Rotem decided she wanted to become an officer. During her processing for officers’ training school, Rotem went for a physical and blood test when she got news that changed her life forever.

“They sat me down in the doctor’s office and told me that they found out I had cancer in my thyroid gland,” she recounts stoically, “and that I needed to leave the army to have surgery.”

“When I found out I couldn’t continue the officers’ course I cried a lot because [the Officer Training School] is the place I wanted to be and it was really important to me.” Shortly after, Rotem underwent surgery on her thyroid gland, was discharged from the army, and sent home to rest for two months.

“Every day I felt I wanted to go back to my base. I didn’t want to be at home for two months; I really wanted to be in the army.”

Recovery and Re-enlistment

“Little by little I understood that I wouldn’t be able to join the army with the same status I had before,” Rotem discloses. “They told me I could join the army as a volunteer but not with the same job.”

After writing multiple letters and appealing to various army offices, Rotem got word that she would be able to re-enlist with the same position in the army. She not only did she get to re-enlist, but she also would be allowed to attend the officers’ training course even though she had missed the deadline.

“The moment they told me I had cancer, I didn’t think about my health at all. It sounds crazy, but I cried not because I had to undergo surgery, but because I had to leave the army,” Rotem added. “I knew I would be ok and that everything would pass, but I didn’t know if I could rejoin the army, and that was the reason I came to Israel and the reason I left everything behind [in the United States].”

IDF Spokesperson's Office

A Eulogy for Corporal David Menachem Gordon, (Z”L)

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

I had the privilege to live with Dave for some time, and to say David was like a brother to me would be false. David WAS a brother to me. He looked after me, ensuring to never include me in whatever mischief he would be up to, and always imparting his words of wisdom to me. Very often, it seemed as though he cared more about others than he did about himself. Having David and my brother together made me feel like no harm could ever come to me. I felt safe knowing no matter what happened they would be there to have back or to listen to my problems. And although I may not have fully appreciated his influence then, I will never forget his enduring commitment to me and my well-being.

In his famous expose in the Huffington Post, Dave said “I know I can do something positive for humanity, especially for those who were robbed of their innocence by child abusers. I can offer hope, counsel and guidance to the still-suffering. I can be a leader with a voice.”

It’s inconceivable that these words came from such a young person who had every excuse to live a destructive life. David found that path contemptible – he needed more. So he got his act together and started to speak, share, write, and most importantly, to love. Slowly but surely, he changed his life and the lives of those around him. There are so many lessons we can all learn from his approach. Namely, that there are no obstacles too difficult or problems too big, there are only those who aren’t willing enough to shed their blood, sweat, and tears to make a difference. We all have our own issues, and we must first conquer them. Once we achieve that, then there are no limits to what we can do.

If you would have told me a few years ago that David would be a world-class soldier, prolific writer, and mentor and friend to unfathomable amounts of people around the world, I would think you were mistaken. But David transcended extensive adversity and became a true leader, so who are we to make excuses for our inaction and lack of greatness? We all have the genuine ability to affect the world around us that is just waiting to be unleashed.

I find myself constantly thinking about what I can do to carry on David’s legacy and honor his life. With the help of one of his closest friends and a personal mentor of mine, we came up with an answer. David’s life culminated in being a voice for those who had none, helping others when it seemed like nobody was there for them. He taught us how to overcome our biggest existential and psychological crises, calling an end to silence. It says in Proverbs that “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence” (Solomon 10:11).

This very idea is exactly how David chose to approach his struggles and become not only a survivor, but a rescuer. I implore everyone to continue this process by reaching out to our brothers and sisters all over the world and to encourage honesty and communication. All it takes is simply listening more to others, being sensitive to people’s concerns, reconsidering our roles in the world, and to stop tolerating the intolerable. If we do this, we all have the ability to save lives and ensure that David will be smiling down on us proudly from Heaven.

On behalf of my family, I would like to thank everyone who has ever been there for David–Most recently the Ungar and Rome families, the Lone Soldiers Program, and Givati who provided him with homes away from home, here in Israel.

Sam Maizlech

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/a-eulogy-for-corporal-david-menachem-gordon-zl/2014/09/28/

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