Masa Israel Journey hosted a ceremony May 7 ahead of Yom Hazikaron, a day where Jews remember Israeli fallen soldiers and victims of terror.
The event in Latrun was the only predominantly English-speaking ceremony in Israel and was broadcast to thousands of Jews in communities and schools throughout the United States, Canada, South Africa, Uruguay, Ukraine, France, Germany, Australia and England, as well as on Masa’s Facebook page. It was also translated in three different languages including French, Spanish and Russian.
Four thousand Masa participants,1,000 global Jewish community leaders from Federations, synagogues, schools, government officials and families of fallen soldiers were in attendance.
This year, the stories of Alejandro Hoffman, Sean Carmeli, Jordan Ben Simon among others who were killed while serving in the IDF or in terror attacks, were highlighted through videos and anecdotes from their families and friends. IDF Captain Yair Alkalai also spoke.
“In an age where terror targets our homes and synagogues, and when we face new and old forms of anti-Semitism on the streets and on campuses, the home front has become the front line, and we stand on that line together,” Israel’s Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan said in a statement to the Journal. “We are always and forever committed to the core Jewish principle, ‘kol Yisrael aravim ze la ze’ (we are all responsible for one another). And we have a special responsibility to our missing and captive soldiers.”
He continued: “We will never rest until we bring Hadar Goldin, Oron Shaul, and all of our missing and captive soldiers and civilians home. I believe this is our highest moral duty and a sacred oath we take to our soldiers and their families. To our enemies I say, the long arm of the IDF and security forces will reach you anywhere and everywhere, on our borders and far beyond them. We are watching you and we will act forcefully to defend ourselves against any threat.”
Isaac (Bougie) Herzog, Chairman of the Jewish Agency and Masa’s honorable guest talked about the anti-Semitic events taking place all around the world including recent attacks in Pittsburgh, Poway and Israel and Paris.
“We can never put the fragments back together,” Herzog said “but we can renew our resolve to cherish their memory and honor their legacy.”