By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP
A piercing siren rang through the sanctuary of Congregation Anshai Torah, symbolizing the start of Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day.
Nearly 500 people commemorated the thousands of Israeli soldiers, and victims of terrorism, who’ve fallen in the country’s 69 years.
Presented by Café Israel and the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, the April 30 program included songs, prayers and the heart of our homeland.
“There’s no independence without the commemoration of those lost,” said Congregation Anshai Torah’s Rabbi Michael Kushnick. “We come together to mourn as a community, as we are commanded, and to fulfill our responsibility to remember and tell the stories of those who fell while protecting us and the land of Israel.”
Yoram Solomon served as master of ceremonies of the program chaired by Ronit Ilan and a committee including Ran Barth, Orna Even, Assaf Mor, Yael Nagar, Yaniv Nir, Aya Pitkovsky and Odeya Zach.
The program, noting the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War, began with the presentation of the color guard by members of the Dr. Harvey J. Bloom Jewish War Veterans Post No. 256: Jule Bovis, Allan Cantor, David Foland, Jerry Kasten and Steve Solk and members of the youth of the Israeli Scouts, the Tzofim.
Eric Pinker, JFGD board officer, welcomed all to the evening, during which Yaniv Nir read names of many fallen and Sahar Aviram, Rabbi Yitzhak Cohen, Sophia Fineberg, Sarah Golman, Rabbi Kushnick, Benjamin Levkovich, Assaf Mor, Gal Reef, Ofek Rozenbloom, David Shirazi, Sihar Snir and Cantor Itzhak Zhrebker offered prayers and memorials in English and Hebrew. Odi Matityahu, Yoav Peled, Ruth Schor, Eli and Ruth Spirer, Dana Waknin, Odeya Zach and Matan Zakai brought music to the spirit of the occasion.
Max Castiel, remembering his brother Yuval among the lost, led Kaddish.
“It’s a great honor to be here and it’s important for us in Dallas, Texas to feel some of what they feel in Israel and for me to feel how much of Israel is in me,” said Tzofim Scout Meeka Shremm, a seventh-grade student at Frankford Middle School. “Even though I was born here, it’s important to give the soldiers who died a special remembrance and I’m proud that so many people here are a part of that.”