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August 22, 2014 / 26 Av, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘lone soldier’

American-Born Lone IDF Soldier Found Dead

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

The body of a 21-year-old Ohio native serving as a lone soldier in the IDF was found on Tuesday, two days after he was reported missing, military spokesmen announced.

Corporal David Menachem Gordon of the Givati Brigade was found with his personal Tabor rifle beside him. He had last been at the Tzrifin army base near Tel Aviv. No details were released concerning where he was found and the cause of his death.

20,000 Attend Funeral of Lone Soldier Sean Carmeli HaYa”D

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Yesterday morning we read about the lone soldier from the small Texas town nobody had ever heard of who had been killed in Gaza trying to destroy the Hamas terror infrastructure, Sean Carmeli. Later in the day, emails and facebook messages kept arriving in Hebrew and in English asking that people come to his funeral.

Israel values all of its soldiers; they are our children. Israeli kids are raised knowing that after high school they will be drafted. (I’m not getting into the chareidi draft issue here.) Religious girls frequently take the option to do Sherut Le’umi, National Service and volunteer in all sorts of places, schools, hospitals, memorials etc. Young men who are exempt for various medical reasons quite often petition the IDF to be accepted as official soldier volunteers and get positions suitable for them.

And then there are the new immigrants and foreign IDF volunteers who come to Israel either just to serve or knowing that their choice to be Israeli means that they will be drafted and serve in the army without a mother waiting at home to do their laundry and make sure there’s hot food for them. They are the true idealists, and Sean Carmeli was one of them.

When an Israeli born and raised IDF soldier is killed, his funeral is attended by his family, childhood friends of all members, fellow students and those from the neighborhood and more. Funerals here for whomever, no matter what the reason of death, are usually humongous. Here in Shiloh, a small funeral, quickly arranged on a Friday before Shabbat can have a minimum of fifty to a hundred people, and the larger more public funerals, like the triple one for the three teenagers murdered by Arab terrorists a few weeks ago are attended by hundreds of thousands. Compare that to a very recent funeral in New Jersey for a policeman killed, Fallen Jersey City Police Detective Melvin Santiago laid to rest.

JERSEY CITY – The Jersey City police officer who was shot and killed while responding to a report of an armed robbery was laid to rest today. Hundreds of police officers from around New Jersey and surrounding states came to St. Aloysius Church to pay their final respects to Melvin Santiago.

IDF Staff Sgt. Sean Carmeli was laid to rest accompanied, honored by about 20,000 people.

funeral

HaMakom yenachem…
May G-d comfort his family and friends

Lone Soldier Funeral Limited to 300 People

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Ashkelon Mayor Itamar Shimoni said Tuesday that the funeral of Jordan Ben-Simon, a lone IDF soldier killed in Gaza yesterday, would be limited to 300 attendees due to the threat of rocket attacks. 

Following the outpouring of support for lone soldiers yesterday, when more than 20,000 people created a mass funeral for lone soldier Sean Carmeli, the IDF Home Front Command said Tuesday that the general public should refrain from attending Ben-Simon’s service today due to the inherent dangers of rocket attacks. The IDF Home Front command said police will turn away people and vehicles once that limit has been reached.

20,000 Escort Sean Carmeli to Final Resting Place

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Nissim Sean Carmeli (21) HY”D, a lone soldiers killed in Gaza, in Operation Protective Edge on July 20th, was laid to rest on Monday night at 11pm, in the military cemetery in Neve David, Haifa.

Sean was one of the two lone soldiers from the US, who were killed in the July 20th battle in Shejaiya, Gaza. 13 IDF soldier were killed in that fight.

Sean’s parents are Israeli, but moved to Texas, where Sean grew up. Sean decided to come to Israel for High School, and stayed on, eventually joining the Golani unit where he served with distinction and honor.

There was concern, as Carmeli was a lone soldier, that not many people would show up for his funeral. WhatsApp messages went out, informing people as to the time and place of the funeral.

More than 20,000 people showed up to escort slain IDF Golani soldier, Sean Carmeli, to his final resting place.

Lone Soldiers and Olim Celebrate “Thanksgivukkah” in Tel Aviv

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Fifty lone soldiers and over 200 young professional Olim celebrated “Thanksgivukkah” at a festive event organized by Nefesh B’Nefesh and White City Shabbat.

Revelers celebrated the once-in-a-lifetime double holiday of Chanukkah and Thanksgiving at the landmark Goren Synagogue in Tel Aviv with a three-course meal replete with traditional holiday foods including latkes and turkey.

After the meal, Tel Aviv’s deputy mayor Asaf Zamir led the Chanukkah candle-lighting ceremony. This event was also sponsored by the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth L’Israel, JNF and the FIDF as a part of Nefesh B’Nefesh’s ongoing social events for its Olim and Lone Soldiers.

As a gesture of showing thanks and in order to promote acts of kindness towards those less fortunate, dinner guests were encouraged to donate lightly worn clothes for the event’s clothing drive.

“We are excited to have teamed up with White City Shabbat on this exceptional holiday event. This was a great opportunity for young professionals and lone soldiers to enjoy a traditional festive meal and express their thanks together with fellow Olim from around the country,” said Benji Davis, Events & Programs Coordinator at Nefesh B’Nefesh.

White City Shabbat is a volunteer-run portal for Jewish life in Tel Aviv that hosts a range of intercommunity events, including its hugely successful monthly Shabbat meals.

As a native Brit, Deborah Danan doesn’t feel that Thanksgivukkah is exclusive for Americans. “The theme of Thanksgiving is anyway inherent to the festival of Chanukkah which all Jews celebrate,” said Danan, who co-directs White City Shabbat together with Eytan White, “And of course, as our tagline states, ‘you don’t have to be American to give thanks!’ People from a broad spectrum of nationalities are coming together to show their gratitude for being able to celebrate this unique holiday in Israel.”

Garin Tzabar: Helping Lone Soldiers Feel At Home In Israel

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

These lone soldiers, hailing from countries including the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Turkey and Azerbaijan arrived in Israel without their families to join the Israel Defense Force and help build the Jewish nation.  ’Garin’ means seed in Hebrew but can also refer to a group of people who collectively immigrated to Israel and ‘tzabar’ refers to the ‘sabra’ cactus fruit which is prickly on the outside but soft and sweet on the inside, a euphemism to describe Israelis.

The Garin Tzabar program is in charge of bringing these lone soldiers to a kibbutz or Israeli city, providing them with an adopted family, a Garin community that supports them throughout their army service and Hebrew classes to assist their immersion into the IDF.  Several months from now the new recruits will begin to serve in the Israeli Army.  The Garin Tzabar  ensures lone soldiers receive support and attention on their birthdays, during holidays, Shabbat, and their days off .

The State of Israel officially welcomed this year’s Garin Tzabar participants during a special ceremony held at Tel Aviv University. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  gave a video greeting praising these young Jewish men and women and  numerous other government officials attended the event.

MK Sofa Landver, who addressed the group, stated, “We are here to receive the immigrants and the soldiers in our country, the most wonderful country in the world. It’s you who have come to serve and defend Israel. You will change the world.” A representative of Nefesh B’Nefesh added, “It’s not just a plane ride, it’s the destination and that’s Israel. Enjoy your new life.”

Netta Gelb, a new Garin Tzabar participant, was born in the Israeli city of Netanya and has spent the past 15 years growing up in Canada. Although she has Israeli relatives,  she is leaving behind her parents and siblings.  Gelb expressed the excitement many Garin members felt when she said, “I have been really looking forward to this for a long time.”

Michael Kosky, another Garin Tzabar participant, added, “We have come here to play our chapter in Jewish history. I am part of this program. Good luck to every one here.”  A lone soldier already serving in the IDF named Ariella, who hails from an Argentine family and grew up in both America and Israel told the audience that she holds dear the “values of loyalty to the state, its people, and the Tzabar members” and said to the new recruits “If you live together, you will learn a lot.”

Eitan Press contributed to this report.

Visit United with Israel.

Israel to Welcome Young Immigrants Joining the IDF

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

This week, 125 young men and women from North America will board a Nefesh B’Nefesh group flight to Israel, where they will live their dream by joining the Israel Defense Forces.  According to Yael Katsman, director of marketing and communications at Nefesh B’Nefesh, almost all of these young Jewish men and women are “lone soldiers,” without familial support in Israel, who will join the already 2,800 others like them in the IDF.

Nefesh B’Nefesh  helps Lone Soldiers through “streamlining the drafting process, sending lone soldiers care packages, providing adoptive families for whenever a soldier is off-duty, giving financial assistance, or calling lone soldiers” to check up on them, said Katsman. She explained, “The most difficult thing [for lone soldiers] is the lack of network and family support. That is a big obstacle, as well as the language barrier.” For this reason Nefesh B’Nefesh  gives lone soldiers extra assistance, becoming their family away from home.

According to Nefesh B’Nefesh, “For these idealistic soldiers, the draft process is an intense experience that often involves challenges of adapting to military service and to an independent life-style in Israel. The Lone Soldier Program provides a comprehensive solution that offers guidance, support, and care for all olim (new immigrant) soldiers at all stages of the process: prior to Aliyah, the pre-draft, throughout military service and after release from the IDF, when adjusting to civilian life in Israel.”

Additionally, 34 of these 125 Lone Soldiers are  moving to kibbutzim in peripheral areas of the country in order to strengthen Israel’s security. One such lone soldier, 18-year-old Michaela Yaakobovitch,  is moving Kibbutz Beit Zera in Northern Israel.

According to Yaakobovitch, “I am looking forward to it. It’s really beautiful there. This is something that I decided I wanted to do. Most of my friends went to college, yet I wanted to make a difference by joining the army. I’m really excited to start something new. I went to Israel every summer, yet now I am going to be part of Israeli society. I will have a new family on my program and meet new people and have new adventures. I’m going to miss my family and friends, yet they will visit.” Katsman feels a “strong sense of pride to see these young men and women volunteering. It shows how strong the State of Israel is. There are young idealists who are coming over to Israel out of choice, trying to make the country a better place. It’s very inspirational.”

Despite the difficulties associated with life as a Lone Soldier, Katsman emphasizes that these 125 young men and women are “very excited, very Zionistic, and very pumped. The energy they bring to the flight is incredible. They are very confident. They decided this path on their own over the last few years.” For many of these olim, the thrill of boarding a Nefesh B’Nefesh group flight en route to their IDF service is a moving experience that will last a lifetime.

Eitan Press contributed to this report.

Visit United with Israel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/united-with-israel/israel-to-welcome-young-immigrants-joining-the-idf/2013/08/13/

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