Supporting

families of fallen soldiers killed in Israel’s Second Lebanon War

Supporting Families of Fallen Soldiers

Dear Friends, It is with great pride and pleasure, that we present to you this compilation of thank you letters-- letters written by families and loved ones who benefited from a very unique and significant initiative. The Jewish Agency for Israel, in cooperation with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, secured a grant of $620,000 that was distributed among the 124 families of soldiers killed in Israel’s second Lebanon war. This grant provided families with a way to memorialize their loved ones. This project was successful because of the collaborative efforts and partnership of the Jewish Agency with other relevant municipal and governmental authorities; IDF senior personnel and community social workers helped us establish and maintain a personal relationship with each family. The families themselves represent a microcosm of Israeli society, a mix of native Israelis, immigrants from the FSU and Ethiopia as well as Druze and Bedouins. Also, several families from abroad, one family from the United States, whose sons were lone soldiers, received funds. Particularly, the family of slain soldier, Johann Zerbiv (a graduate of the Jewish Agency’s Nativ program) received the grant in a special memorial ceremony. These letters are an expression of gratitude and remembrance for Israel’s bravest. On behalf of the soldiers’ families, we thank all those who made this memorial initiative possible. With appreciation for your support, The Jewish Agency for Israel The American Joint Distribution Committee

On the day that Johan Zerbiv was killed, the Jewish Agency posted the following page on the organization’s site.

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Supporting Families of Fallen Soldiers

7.12.06 Dear Sirs, It is heartwarming to know that, in the middle of all the difficulties and debates in Israel - “The war was forced upon us”, “Sacrifice in vain” “For the glory of God”, “A matter of survival” – there are those who remember the families who sacrificed that which is most precious to them. Life goes on, and only we are left with the pain. We are sending you a commemorative page from Gilad on which he wrote a poem a week before he was killed. Gilad was an air steward with El Al, and he wrote the poem while he was in New York after he recieved his emergency draft papers. The poem was found at home, where he’d left it just before he left for the war but, at the time, we didn’t think it was important. Let us hope that this will be your last donation. Amen! Sincerely, The Stockelman Family Tomrat

Supporting Families of Fallen Soldiers

A Few More Hours Words: Gilad Stockelman In a few more hours we’ll cross the border Our canons will boom, we’ll trample the roads In a few more days we’ll lose ourselves in bed We’ll cross the boundaries and take off our masks. In a few more hours we’ll speed across the expanses Passion and fire in our hearts, the enemy before us. In a few more days we’ll shout, and sweat and go wild Not a thought for our friends, we’ll break the rules. A few more hours, a few more days. A few hours have passed, a few more seconds to go Who’ll gain the upper hand, who’ll decide whose fate The seconds stop, the thoughts fall silent Who’ll return home to lose themselves in bed Look me in the eyes, it’s either me or you Burning passion, fiery hatred In a few days I’ll rewind the movie I’ll talk about things and tell all the details About how I got to you, and how we lost ourselves in bed About someone who’s buried deep in the ground In a few more hours Gilad was an air steward and was in New York when he received his call up papers, after which he wrote this poem. Killed on Av 15, 5766, at the age of 26.

Supporting Families of Fallen Soldiers

7.12.06 Dear Sirs, It is heartwarming to know that, in the middle of all the difficulties and debates in Israel - “The war was forced upon us”, “Sacrifice in vain” “For the glory of God”, “A matter of survival” – there are those who remember the families who sacrificed that which is most precious to them. Life goes on, and only we are left with the pain. We are sending you a commemorative page from Gilad on which he wrote a poem a week before he was killed. Gilad was an air steward with El Al, and he wrote the poem while he was in New York after he recieved his emergency draft papers. The poem was found at home, where he’d left it just before he left for the war but, at the time, we didn’t think it was important. Let us hope that this will be your last donation. Amen! Sincerely, The Stockelman Family Tomrat

Supporting Families of Fallen Soldiers

Gazit, Tevet 5767 We would like to thank you for your generous support. Your giving to us, at our most difficult hour, imbued us with a powerful sense of support and a warm embrace where there were only tears and pain. Your contribution will help us commemorate the memory of Oren, our beloved son. The memory is, after all, what remains forever. Sincerely, Mili and Ofer Lifschitz

Supporting Families of Fallen Soldiers

November 2006 We want to express our gratitude for your support of our family. While Itai was in Lebanon we kept in touch through text messages on our cell phones and I want to share with you the last message I sent Itai. I hope the calm holds I hope you gain more understanding That truth and peace and tranquility do not come easily And that force is not a magical solution And there is room for compassion and creativity. With appreciation Warmest thanks The Steinberger family

Supporting Families of Fallen Soldiers

28.11.06 Magistrate Ezra Kama Jewish Agency Dear Sir, Re: Contribution from the Jewish Agency and Joint Distribution Committee We were greatly deeply moved by your contribution. It is wonderful to know that the heart of world Jewry appreciates and admires the IDF soldiers and their families. Guy was killed on the last day of the war, a war which we saw as the defense of our homes. The pain of losing Guy, our eldest son, does not lessen, for us the parents, and the whole family. Guy was born on a kibbutz in the north on April 11.1982. When he was a month old we moved with him to establish Moshav Na’ama in the Jordan Valley. We created a wonderful agricultural farm and we brought up our four children there. Guy went to a primary school in the area, attended Bauer High School in Jerusalem and in the army, served in regiment 50 of the Nahal corps. After he finished his army service he went to an Israel Airports Authority course and worked as a security officer by the Jordan River (border crossing). When he left that job he traveled to China, Mongolia and India with his girlfriend. We were happy when Guy decided to settle on Na’ama and began to work on our farm. He even managed to realize a dream and opened a café at the entrance to the moshav. I am enclosing a photograph and I would be delighted if you could pass it on to the donors. The picture was taken in the last year of Guy’s life. We used the donation to substantially develop the area of the café, in memory of our son. Thanking you with all our heart The Hasson family

Supporting Families of Fallen Soldiers

Guy from the Jordan Valley. A few weeks ago our photographer, Shaul Golan, visited Moshav Na’ama in the Jordan Valley for a project he had planned for this section of the paper. One of the exciting figures he captured with his camera was Guy Hasson, 24 (left), the son of founder members of the moshav. Guy set up a café together with his girlfriend Lee (behind the counter), a place where youngsters from the Jordan Valley could go. Guy was called up to the army a week ago. He was killed at the beginning of the week in fighting in southern Lebanon. Two days ago his family decided to donate his organs to save others.

Supporting Families of Fallen Soldiers

1/12/2006 Jewish Agency for Israel c/o Magistrate Ezra Kama

Dear Sir, Re: Your contribution We received your letter and contribution for which we offer our heartfelt thanks. Our wish is that Israel should know no more pain, and that the death of our beloved son Tammer (Tomer) Aamar in the second Lebanon War will be a turning point towards peace in our region, and that we should remember the fallen IDF soldiers forever. Sincerely, The Almazeh family and Kamal Aamar Julis

Supporting Families of Fallen Soldiers

Kislev 23 5767 14/12/2006 Jewish Agency for Israel 48 King George Street POB 92 Jerusalem 91000 c/o Magistrate Ezra Kama

Dear Sir, We received the check conveyed through you from the generous donors of the Jewish Agency and the World Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, which are helping the families of fallen soldiers. We lost Moran, a son who was born to us late in life, in a terrible battle. Our hearts ache, our lives have changed unrecognizably, and we can’t really comprehend what has happened to us. Despite this our lives continue regardless, although bur things are different. We would like to thank the person responsible for effecting this contribution. With thanks and great appreciation Nitza and Shmulik Cohen Kibbutz Ashdot Yaakov Ihud

Supporting Families of Fallen Soldiers

Jewish Agency for Israel

Re: Letter of thanks and appreciation I would like to express my thanks and appreciation for your wonderful help and generous donation which greatly helped me finance my older daughter’s wedding. I hope you can continue doing good deeds and that other people have the honor of knowing good people like yourselves. (As we all know, there aren’t many special people like you.) Once again I want to thank you on behalf of myself and my daughters for your wonderful help. Thank you and well done Hannah Marlowitz

Supporting Families of Fallen Soldiers

Sunday, November 26, 2006 Magistrate Ezra Kama Resource Development & Public Affairs Department Jewish Agency for Israel

Dear Sir, Re: Donation to the families of soldiers killed in the second Lebanon War We gratefully received the donation to our family after our son, pilot Nissan Shalev, was killed in the war. The donation will enable us to commemorate our son in an honorable manner. Please convey our thanks to all those who made this contribution possible.

Rahel and Amos Shalev, Nissan’s parents, and Nissan’s brothers and sisters

Supporting Families of Fallen Soldiers

6.12.06 Jewish Agency for Israel Thank you very much for the generous donation you gave us. Thank you for your condolences. Our sorrow is very deep and our pain is unrelenting. We lost a wonderful son. The country lost a model citizen, and everyone who knew him lost a true friend. Everyone loved him. He was happy with everything he had and brought joy to everyone. We brought up our child modestly and simply, with warmth and love. He was an excellent soldier and a wonderful medic in the Nahal corps. And he was taken away from us. Our pain cries up to the heavens. This cursed war broke our hearts. Thank you for your support. Parents - Jay and Ruth Daughters - Romie and Sari

Supporting Families of Fallen Soldiers

11.12.06 Mevasseret Zion Magistrate Ezra Kama Jewish Agency Dear Sir, We would like to thank you for your generous support following the death of our son Uri. Your donation has touched our hearts. We would like to use the donation to commemorate Uri, in his spirit, in a way that will make a contribution to society and the community. Please convey our thanks to the generous donors. Sincerely, Mihal, David, Yonatan and Rutti Grossman

Supporting Families of Fallen Soldiers

December 7, 2006 Jewish Agency for Israel Resource Development & Public Affairs Department c/o Magistrate Ezra Kama 48 King George Street, POB 92 Jerusalem 91000

Dear Sir, Re: Expression of gratitude We, the Baluakh family, parents of the late 1st. Sgt. Nadav Baluakh, would like to thank the generous donors for their wonderful contribution. The funds will help us to commemorate our son.

With thanks The Baluakh Family 26 Haddas St. Carmiel

Supporting Families of Fallen Soldiers

25.12.06 Magistrate Ezra Kama Jewish Agency Dear Sir, I would like to thank you on behalf of my daughter Galit Kokhava, widow of pilot Ran Kokhava, for your generous donation. As we have known each other for many years I took it upon myself to write this letter of thanks Since you and I have long - standing relationship. The Jewish Agency’s contribution will help Galit manage with the difficulties of bringing up her five-year-old daughter and one-year-old twins, after having lost her husband so cruelly and so suddenly in the middle of her life. Our heartfelt thanks to you and to the donors.

Sincerely, Uzi Abel Galit’s father Uzi Abel 55 Sheshet HaYammim St. Ramat Hasharon

Supporting Families of Fallen Soldiers

December 17, 2006 Jewish Agency for Israel Re: Heartfelt thanks We, the Sallim family, would like to thank you for your generous donation. We bless you for your concern and your help with commemorating our son, Adi Sallim. With great thanks

The Sallim family

Supporting Families of Fallen Soldiers

December 5, 2006 Jewish Agency for Israel Re: Expression of thanks We, Yardenna and Moshe Sharabi, parents of our beloved son Sgt. Yehonatan (Yoni) Sharabi who died for the glory of God and in defense of the homeland in the second Lebanon War, wish to thank you and everyone involved in making this generous donation. The donation will help us commemorate the memory of our beloved son, because that is all we have left. Once again we thank you and pray there will be no more sorrow. The bereaved parents Yardenna and Moshe Sharabi

Supporting Families of Fallen Soldiers

To Magistrate Kama, I would like to thank you everyone for the tremendous contribution you made in memory of Ya’ar. I ask that you pass on our gratitude to the donors. May we only know good times and peace. From Ira and her family.

Supporting Families of Fallen Soldiers

To the Jewish Agency for Israel And the Joint Distribution Committee Shalom! After my husband, Emanuel (may G-d avenge his death), was killed during the war, I have been privileged to come in contact with the core spirit of the Jewish people: compassion, mercy, and kind heartedness. Our home has changed; from a home that willingly sends the head of household to war because of the belief in and significance of his mission—a family that gives on behalf of the Land and the People, we have become a family that receives. We have been fortunate enough to be the recipients of the love of Israel directly from the People of Israel. We are now a home that receives tremendous amounts of compassion, warmth, and support from people we do not know; they simply feel connected to us because we are one nation. I have merited seeing the unity and mutual commitment that exists among us—not just as a statement, but rather a daily experience. There are no words sufficient to thank you for your generosity. I will simply say, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Blessing you with the ability to always give and bring joy to the Jewish people, Maya Morano and the children: Aviya, Neriya, and Noam Yisrael

www.jewishagency.org

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