United Kingdom & Israel
In loving memory
On Erev Chanukah, Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 the Pell family of London and Jerusalem donated a Torah to the Givati Infantry Training Base close to the Egyptian border in loving memory of their father David z"l.
The family group was greeted on their arrival by Rabbi T. - Rabbi of the Givati Brigade. The family distributed 200 doughnuts to the new recruits and spoke to and connected with them.
The Torah was then dressed with a special cover recognizing the donation. Then began a joyous procession with hundreds of soldiers, both male and female, dancing along the streets of the base. The Torah was passed from family member to soldier, from soldier to commander, from commander to family member as the base was circled.
At the entrance to the base synagogue various family members and soldiers were honored with reading pasukim (verses) as the Torah made its way to its new home in the base Aron Hakodesh (Holy ark). Gaby Pell, son of David z"l, spoke to the visitors and the soldiers about his father and that it was meaningful to the family to perpetuate his memory in this way. The family members received certificates of thanks from both the IDF and IYIM.
The request for the Torah had come from the Givati Brigade as they needed a Torah to take out with them when they go out on training maneuvers.
Micki Lavin Pell (daughter in law) of David Z"L: "Dear Daniel, I can't thank you enough for such a wonderful Hachnasat Sefer Torah...we were all so thrilled by it. Very moving."
David & Chani Levin
Israel & New Jersey
Bar Mitzvah celebration
When David and Chani Levin of Raanana, Israel, were thinking of the most meaningful way to celebrate their son Lavi’s bar mitzvah it didn't take them too long!
On Thursday, November 27th, Lavi began his special day and entry into Jewish manhood at the Kotel Hama’aravi (Western Wall) surrounded by his parents, siblings, family from America, family friends from Israel and 40 classmates from his yeshiva. The heavy Jerusalem rain subsided for long enough for the participants to walk from the bus to the tunnel cave under the Kotel. However this was more than a usual Kotel bar mitzvah – Lavi was reading from a Sefer Torah that had been brought from New York to Israel and later that day would be donated by his family to the IDF.
When proceedings were finished at the Kotel and family photos had been taken, the group moved to the Maccabim Base of the Border Police Unit near the city of Modiin. A joyous procession began accompanied by music and lively dancing with Lavi and “his” Torah in the center, as both family members, guests and soldiers took turns in dancing with Lavi and the Torah. The procession arrived at the synagogue on the base where it was placed in the Aron Hakodesh (Holy Ark).
This was followed by a celebratory lunch and a display by the Border Police anti-terrorist unit.
The guests were then addressed by a number of representatives of the Borer Police, Lavi, David Levin (father) and by his aunt, Ora Kornbluth who had flown in from New Jersey and spoke about her late mother in whose memory the Torah was donated.
Nadel Family & Friends
Israel & USA
On the occasion of Dan Nadel's 95th birthday
95-Year-Old War Hero Dedicates Torah to the IDF
First Lieutenant (Reserve, US Army) Dan Nadel, a 95-year-old resident of Jerusalem and a five-time decorated hero of World War II who led troops in the Battle of the Bulge and in freeing France from the Nazis, was honored by family and friends at the Yishai Base outside Jerusalem on Sunday, November 16th, 2014.
The International Young Israel Movement (IYIM) selected Dan for this honor as a mark of his heroic bravery and on the occasion of his birthday. Dan was a Commander in the US Combat Engineers, so it was deemed appropriate that this Torah be donated to the IDF Combat Engineers who fought so bravely this summer in Gaza, leading the detection and destruction of the terrorist tunnels.
The joyous ceremony began with speeches from General B (commander of the Combat Engineers), Rabbi Yuval (Rabbi of the Central Command) and Dan himself. This was followed by a procession with the Torah changing hands amongst Dan's friends, soldiers and commanders, with musical accompaniment by the IDF Rabbinical choir. The procession ended at the Base Synagogue.
"We are very humbled to be able to honor such a great hero and such a great man." (Ceec Harrishburg, President, IYIM.)
"We are always glad to contribute another Sefer Torah to the IDF. As the army Rabbi stated: Next time this unit will enter Gaza not only with tractors and other equipment but with their own Torah as well." (Daniel Meyer, Executive Director, IYIM).
Binyamin Regional Headquarters
In honor of their parents
Torah Scroll - From Holocaust in Romania to IDF Base in Samaria
On Sunday October 12th, Chol Hamoed Sukkot, the International Young Israel Movement - Israel Region had the great honor to facilitate a Sefer Torah dedication to the IDF.
This Torah, donated by the Glogower family of Skokie, Ilinois, had been saved from the ashes of the Holocaust in Romania.
It was donated to the Binyamin Regional Base in Beit El, in the presence of the Regional Commander, Rabbi Shlomo Aviner (Rabbi of Beit El) and Ceec Harrishburg (President, IYIM).
Many family and friends of the Glogower's joined the soldiers in a joyous ceremony followed by delicious food, prepared by the base cooks.
Nahal Training Base
Leo V. Berger Fund - Challenge Grant
Israel & New York
In honor of Israel's armed forces
A Sefer Torah in Gratitude to the IDF
During the summer of 2014, the Nahal Brigade found itself fighting bravely in Gaza alongside other infantry units. Yet an army does not stay static but moves forward. At all times new recruits are being trained for future missions.
The Leo V. Berger Fund, led by its President, Harvey Schwartz, decided that a significant way of acknowledging the bravery of the Nahal fighters was to donate a Sefer Torah to the Nahal training base near Arad, so soon after the ending of hostilities. The Berger Fund chose to make this special contribution through the IDF Torah Project of the International Young Israel Movement (IYIM) – Israel, which has so far provided over 200 Torah scrolls to military bases throughout Israel.
On Wednesday, 1st October 2014, IDF Chief Rabbi Rafi Peretz, together with the commander of the Nahal Brigade, the base commander, the Rabbi of Nahal, the base Rabbi and other military dignitaries, joined together in a joyous ceremony that took place at the base. New recruits from three different branches of the Nahal Brigade took turns carrying the new Torah in a lively procession around the base that concluded with the Torah being placed in its new home – the ark of the base synagogue.
Both Rabbi Peretz and Commander T emphasized how important it was that this event was taking place during the Ten Days of Repentance. Lt. Rabbi Benjy Levy, another speaker, focused on the outpouring of love and unity witnessed during the 55 days of war this summer.
Certificates of appreciation were awarded to Harvey Schwartz (President, Leo. V. Berger Fund), Ceec Harrishburg (President, IYIM), and Daniel Meyer (Executive Director, IYIM).
The Torah to the IDF was the fourth donated to the IDF as part of the Leo V. Berger Challenge Grant: For every two Torah scrolls donated to the IDF by the International Young Israel Movement (IYIM), the Berger Fund donates a third.