(A7)Hundreds of thousands of Jews from 60 countries around the world are taking part in the ceremony for Yom HaZikaron for the victims of terror from Israel and the Diaspora. This event is held annually by Masa, in attendance by representatives of the Jewish Agency and the government of Israel at Yad L’Shiryon in Latrun. At the center of the ceremony were the stories of lone soldiers, new immigrants, civilians, and tourists who fell in army service or were murdered by terrorists both in Israel and around the world.
This is the largest ceremony in Israel that took place in English, adapted for Jews in the Diaspora and new immigrant communities in Israel as well as Jewish communities around the world. The ceremony was translated into Hebrew, French and Russian and broadcast live to hundreds of thousands of Jews around the world, including Masa alumni and community members in Russia, Ukraine, the Philippines, Morocco, Turkey, South Africa, USA, Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Argentina and more. In addition, thousands of Masa Fellows in Israel gathered to watch the ceremony in 5 major cities across Israel.
Approximately 5,000 Fellows in Masa programs in Israel were present at the ceremony at the Yad LaShiryon site in Latrun, in the presence of Dr. Nachman Shai, Minister of Diaspora Affairs; Yaakov Hagoel-Chairman, World Zionist Organization, Acting Chairman, Jewish Agency for Israel, Shalom Shlomo Cabinet Secretary, MK Evgeny Soba Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, MK Dr. Yuval Steinitz, Becky Caspi, senior vice president and CEO of JFNA Israel, Sam Grundwerg World Chairmam Keren Hayesod, Ilan Cohen Chairman of the Board of Directors of Masa and Ofer Gutman Masa CEO.
This year we told the stories of the late Eli Kay, who immigrated to Israel from South Africa and was killed in a terrorist attack in the Old City on his way to work at the Western Wall; the late Jordan Ben Simon of Unit Egoz, who immigrated from France and fell in the battle of Sajaiyeh, Gaza in Operation Protective Edge; the late brothers Barak and Amichai Itakis, who returned to Israel from Mexico City and fell in operational activity; and the late Dan Uzan from Denmark, who was killed in a terrorist attack on a synagogue in Copenhagen in 2015; and other casualties.
During the ceremony, documentary style videos were shown about those who fell in war and hostilities, with an emphasis on lone soldiers and young people from the Diaspora. The ceremony was guided by IDF soldiers, Jewish leaders and Masa Fellows to light memorial candles next to the flags of countries from various communities around the world and lay memorial wreathes.
Minister of Diaspora Affairs Dr. Nahman Shai said: “We must sanctify the sacrifice of those who gave up their lives for us by striving towards the vision for which they died; the advancement and flourishing of the Jewish people in its homeland.”
Masa CEO Ofer Gutman said: “This is the largest ceremony in Israel, which is a unique bridge between the State of Israel and the young people of global Jewry. Together they meet the story of our best sons and daughters who fell prematurely for our existence. On the most Israeli day of the year, we provide Masa Fellows and alumni in Israel the opportunity to be eternal partners in the chain of generations and in the Zionist enterprise, as they experience a powerful Memorial Day ceremony, and commemorate the day in the same way as Israelis. “