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Israeli soldiers memorialized

Published: April 23, 2010
Section: News


A group of more than 100 students observed Yom Hazikaron in the Shapiro Campus Center atrium Monday in an event hosted by the Brandeis Zionist Alliance (BZA). The gathering marked Israel’s Remembrance Day for fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism.

Speakers at the event included Rabbi Elliot Kaplowitz, a Brandeis alumna and co-director of the Jewish Learning Initiative on campus and adviser to the Brandeis Orthodox Organization. Rabbi Kaplowitz said Yizkor and Kaddish, Jewish prayers of mourning. Jeremy Sherer ’10 spoke the prayer for the State of Israel and Liya Kahan ’12 said the prayer for the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces.

The event also included songs performed by Manny Halberstam ’10 and Adam Ross ’10. David Wayne ’12 performed slam poetry that he had written. Dr. Moaz Azaryahu, an anthropology professor from the University of Haifa and a member of the visiting faculty of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, gave a personal reflection of what Yom Hazikaron means and its importance to Israelis. The event ended with “Hatikvah,” the Israeli national anthem, sung by Jaclyn Frankel ’11 and Talia Salzberg ’10.

Halberstam and Dana Bahir ’12 organized the ceremony. Last year, Bahir, whose parents are Israeli, worried that there were no events for Yom Hazikaron, but there were several for Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day, which falls the next day. She planned a ceremony with the support of BZA, and Halberstam joined her this year, taking over the creative aspect while Bahir focused on the logistics.

“Israel is our homeland, for Jews all over the world, and we can’t take her existence for granted,” Bahir said. “We need to appreciate and remember all those who lost their lives defending Israel and fighting for her continued existence, and for Americans and other Jews in the diaspora, it’s especially important to pay our respects to our brother and sisters in Israel who fought so that we can have a home.”

The most meaningful part of the event was at the beginning when the air raid siren was sounded for a moment of silence, Rachael Pass ’13 said. The siren simulated moments of silence in Israel, where citizens halt their everyday lives to pay their respects.

“This seems like a good day to be an Israeli,” Jessie Nusbam ’12 said.