Soldiers's Biographies -

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Resource Contents

Yom HaZikaron 2006 Names

The Israeli Army is comprised of many different divisions. This year, we will remember Israels fallen heroes by telling the story of one soldier from 10 different divisions in the Israel Defense Forces.

1. If your advisory group represents the Totchanimthe artilleryplease rise.

Shaul Vinchel belonged to the Totchanim. He was a prize-winning expert in archery. In 1948, Shaul was in London studying law. But, when Israels War of Independence broke out, he made the decision to return to Israel to fulfill his duty. Shaul joined the newly formed Israeli army and fought in the famous battle at Latrun. He died a few months later in a battle in the Negev.

2. If your advisory group represents the Tzanchanimthe Paratroopersplease rise.

One of the most popular brigades in the Israeli army is Chativat HaTzanchanimthe paratroopers. Shlomo Cohen was a Tzanchan. He was born in Holland and was hidden by a Christian family during World War II. Shlomos parents did not survive the Holocaust. At the age of 12, Shlomo moved to Israel where he joined the paratroopers in 1955. Shlomo fought in the 1967 Six Day War and died near the Damascus Gate in the battle to liberate Jerusalem. He left a pregnant wife and a young son behind. A ping-pong tournament for handicapped people is held every year in his memory.

3. If your advisory group represents Cheil HaYamthe Navy--please rise.

Ya`akov Ra`anan came to Israel from Austria right before World War II, at the age of five. He lived in the sea-side town of Bat Yam and began to work aboard ships. He joined the I.D.F. in 1951, and eventually became the commander of the Israeli submarine, Dakar. In 1968, on a voyage from Gibraltar to Haifa, all contact with the Dakar was lost. After a fruitless search, all aboard were presumed dead. Yaakov left behind a wife and 3 sons. In 1999, divers found the ill-fated submarine on the floor of the Mediterranean.

4. Soldiers in Chativat Golani--the Golani Brigadeare trained to carry out special operations. If your advisory group represents Chativat Golani, please rise.

Nachshon Wachsman trained to be a medic for Magan David Adom and was a leader in the youth movement Ezra. Like his two older brothers, he joined Tzahal and became a member of the Golani Brigade. In 1994, while he was trying to hitchhike back home from his army base for Shabbat, he was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists who had disguised themselves as religious Jews. People all over the world, including some in this room right now, prayed for his safe release. But it was not to be. The Israeli army found out where Nachshon was being held, and tried to rescue him. Nachshon was killed during the attempted rescue.

5. If your advisory group represents Cheil HaAvirthe Air Force--please rise.

Avishai Levi was born in Tel Aviv. From a young age he was interested in aeronautics and loved to build model airplanes and fly kites. He was drafted into Tzahal in 1988, and completed the necessary requirements to join the Air Force, where he eventually become a flight instructor. Avishai was tragically killed in the horrible crash of the two military helicopters in 1997. He left behind a wife, and a daughter who was just a year old.

6. NachalNoar Halutzi Lochemis part of the Israeli armys infantry. If your advisory group represents Nachal, please rise.

Avi Book was the fifth son of parents who came to Israel from the United States. He loved to hike and to admire Israels beautiful scenery. Avi was a person who supported the community by doing a lot of volunteer work. He was a religious boy and studied in Yeshivat Maale HaGilboa. Avi joined the army and became an officer in the Engineering Corps. During a rocket attack in Lebanon in 1997, he ran to check on the soldiers under his command and was killed.

7. If your advisory group represents Cheil HaHandasahthe Engineering Corpsplease rise.

Adi Avitan was a curious boy. He had many of friends and was a natural leader. He joined the army in 1998 as a member of the Cheil HaHandasahthe Engineering Corps. His job was to defuse bombs. One day, Adi and two other soldiers were driving near the Lebanese border, when their vehicle hit a mine and exploded. Hizbollah terrorists took the bodies and would not tell Israel whether the boys were dead or alive. It took three and a half years of hard negotiations for Israel to get the bodies back in a prisoner exchange. Adi and his comrades were then buried in Teveryah.

8. If your advisory group represents Cheil HaShiryonthe Armored Corpsplease rise.

El`ad Litvak was a member of the Shiryonthe Armored Corps. He grew up on a kibbutz in the north of Israel. He liked to play soccer and ride his tractor. El`ad joined the army in 1998 and became commander of a tank unit. While on a military mission in Lebanon, his tank was struck by a missile and he was killed. His kibbutz established a garden in his memory.

9. If your advisory group represents Modi`inIntelligenceplease rise.

Tali ben Armon liked to draw and dance. She joined the army and worked in Intelligence. Her job was to collect information on Israels northern border that would prevent terrorists from entering Israel. Tali was killed in a terrorist attack in the central bus station in Afula on the way back to her army base.

10. Soldiers in Chativat Givati--the Givati Brigadealso carry out special operations. If your advisory group represents Chativat Givati the Givati Brigadeplease rise.

Nisim Ben David was a member of the Givati brigade. He loved to swim, to dive, and to ski. He was a very popular youth leader in Bnei Akiva. After the terrible terrorist attack at the Park Hotel on Seder night in 2002, Nisim led the first battalion of soldiers that Israel sent to fight the terrorists in Jenin. He was wounded in that battle, but his soldiers rescued him, even though they were under fire. He later died of his wounds.

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