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Emily Kroft

David Thompson


by Rhonda J. Prepes, April 14, 2013

Well known realtor David Thompson, who served in the Israel Defense Forces from October 1980 to October 1983 was the Master of Ceremonies for the Yom Hazikaron Memorial Service held in the Berney Theatre on Sunday, April 14, 2013 attended by close to 200 people.

As Thompson said, “During my service I was involved in the first Lebanon war which started in June 1982. I have seen first-hand the cost of defending the state of Israel. The cost of defending Israel is high but, the cost to the Jewish world without it would be even higher. So, today we remember those who have paid the ultimate price.”

Yom Hazikaron is a day of remembrance for those who fell in the struggle for the establishment of the state of Israel and in its defense. Yom Hazikaron has also been designated for official recognition of all those who lost their lives under any form of attack on Israel, including acts of terror.

Gary Shvartzman who served in the Israeli army from 2009 to 2012 read the Yizkor while Kosta Kuchi who served in the Israeli army from 1992 to 2006 lit the memorial candle.

Yuri Kovach who served in the Israeli Police force from 2000 to 2003 and continued his service as a unit instructor until 2012  recited King David’s Lamentation.

Ital Eliyahu who served in the Israeli army from 1996 to 1999 and Yaniv Zohar who served in the Israeli army from 1995 until 1998 read the poem, the Silver Platter in Hebrew and in English.

Alexandra Smolyaninov, Cami Aimostion and Yael Borovich sang Choref (Winter) 73 about children born after the Yom Kippur War when they are grown up and wearing uniforms. Despite being promised the dove of peace when they were born they are still fighting but, seek to renew the promise to their parents.

Gray Academy of Jewish Education student Emily Kroft spoke about her experience on the Partnership Together delegation trip to Israel. She visited the location on the road between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem where Fern Shawna Rykiss, a student of Joseph Wolinsky lost her life in a terrorist attack.

“As a delegation, we saw the place where Fern Shawna Rykiss lost her life. It brought out strong emotions in all of us. A few days later we went to Har (Mount) Herzl where most of Israel’s fallen soldiers have been buried,” Kroft said.

 The delegation also saw the site of a helicopter crash that occurred on February 4, 1997 where 73 soldiers on a security mission to Lebanon were killed.

“We had the opportunity to meet with the father of a fallen soldier Liran Saadia who was killed in the Lebanon war. Liran was known for being extremely smart and kind hearted. He was very passionate about art and volunteer work. There is no doubt that Liran would have gone on to do amazing things in his life. But, now he never will.”

“It is all of our responsibilities as a community to remember Liran Saadia and all of the fallen soldiers. We have to honour the sacrifice they made so the state of Israel can exist,” Kroft said.

Leorach Hayam (Along the Sea) was performed by Alexandra Smolyaninov and Cami Aimostion.

Katy Molodianovitch who served in the Israeli army from 1997 to 1999 read Lechol Ish Yesh Shem (Every Person has a Name).

Cantor Tracy Kasner Greaves sang the El Maleh Rachmin and led the Kadish.

Zeev Shoichet who served in the Israeli Air force from 2001 to 2008 recited the prayer for the state of Israel.

The program concluded with Hatikvah, Israel’s national anthem.



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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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