Yom Hazikaron Event to Feature Former Israeli Soldier

Tags: Federation, Israel, Overseas

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Article reprinted with permission from Cleveland Jewish News


The Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s Yom Hazikaron commemoration will include the personal story of a fallen Israeli soldier told by a fellow soldier, Efi Mazor of Beit Shean, from 7 to 7:45 p.m. April 13.

The digitized event will also include a candle lighting, memorial prayers, readings, songs and speakers, event chair Mark Sack said.

“It’s the evening that Israel and the Jewish community around the world pause to remember and honor those who have sacrificed their lives for the state of Israel and soldiers over the years, and also remember and honor those innocent victims who have been killed over the years by acts of terrorism,” said Sack, a resident of Orange and a member of Solon Chabad in Solon.

While the event has functioned in person since its creation – typically at Mandel Jewish Community Center’s Stonehill Auditorium in Beachwood with a crowd of several hundred – this year’s virtual makeover promises an equally as powerful Israeli Memorial Day commemoration.

Mazor will speak about losing a fellow soldier during the second Lebanon War. Community members with ties to Israel will light candles in memory of victims of war, prisoners of war and those missing in action, victims of terror and those whose burial places remain unknown. People who have lost loved ones as soldiers defending Israel or victims of terror will perform songs, many of which are self-composed. A high-ranking officer of the Israel Defense Forces who has a connection to the community will provide a message.

“We try to make it impactful by the content of the virtual experience,” said Sack, who lived in Israel for 10 years and fought for the IDF. “Obviously, we’d like to be together in person and host our delegation of Israeli soldiers, but I don’t want to say it’s been more difficult to commemorate Yom Hazikaron. It’s different, but it’s meaningful.”

Sack encourages the community to tune in to the event and remember those who’ve died fighting for Israel or due to terrorism, especially with the celebration of Israel’s Independence Day the following day.

The Federation’s Yom Haatzmaut celebration will be from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. April 15, and it will offer an in-person, drive-thru experience at Corporate College East at 4400 Richmond Road in Warrensville Heights and a virtual option.

“It’s a way of showing solidarity with the Jewish people, recognizing both the sacrifices of soldiers who have defended the Jewish state over the years and also the price that people paid for living as Jews around the world and being victims of terror,” Sack said. “It’s important in terms of the solidarity and the cohesiveness of our people and recognition that we share many values, traditions and a common destiny.”

If You Go

WHAT: Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s annual Yom Hazikaron commemoration

WHEN: 7 to 7:45 p.m. April 13

WHERE: Virtual

TICKETS & INFO: The event is free. To register and receive additional info, visit bit.ly/31GnaSc.

Learn More: Federation, Israel, Overseas