(April 12, 2021, Jerusalem, JNS Wire) On the eve of Yom HaZikaron, a day of remembrance for Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror, Masa Israel Journey is virtually hosting its annual Yom HaZikaron Ceremony. The event will commence on April 13 at 8:00 PM Israel Standard Time (1:00 PM ET/ 10:00 AM PST), and will be held on Facebook Live through Masa’s Facebook page.
Masa’s ceremony is the largest English-language Yom HaZikaron event in Israel and is broadcast globally. Hosted annually in Latrun, Israel, the program was partially pre-recorded this year at the memorial site. Hundreds of thousands of Jews are expected to tune-in, including Masa Israel fellows and alumni and Jewish communities and leaders from the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Morocco, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, the former Soviet Union and more.
The annual ceremony is dedicated to the Diaspora community and their contributions to Israel’s story. Each year, 12,000 Masa fellows arrive in Israel for personal and professional journeys, and they report that the Yom HaZikaron Ceremony is one of the most significant moments of their experience. Masa Fellows will gather together for community screenings of this year’s ceremony in five cities throughout Israel, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Isaac Bougie Herzog, the Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel; Mr. David Koschitzky, Former Chairman of Keren Hayesod’s World Board of Trustees; Becky Caspi, Senior Vice President, Global Operations & Director General JFNA Israel; Sam Grundwerg, World Chairman of Keren Heyesod; and Shelly Kupfer, the Chair of National Women’s Philanthropy of The Jewish Federations of North America will attend the ceremony.
Bereaved families from Diaspora communities are an integral part of the ceremony. This year’s program will tell the stories of Lt. Alex Singer z”l, St.-Sgt. Yonatan (Sergei) Vlasyuk z”l, Sgt. Julie (Sarah) Weiner z”l and St.-Sgt Johan Zerbib z”l. A video message from bereaved families including Marsha Gladstone, the mother of Yoni Jesner z”l and Alicia Hoffman, the mother of Sergeant Alejandro Alexander z”l will also be screened. Benji Singer, brother of Lt. Alex Singer z”l will recite kaddish, the Jewish mourner’s prayer.
Against the backdrop of international flags representing the global Masa community, Fellows Hillel Schwartz from Sharon, Massachusetts and Ilan Leisorek from San Diego, U.S., will lay memorial flowers and light candles to honor Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror.
Exactly two years since the antisemitic shooting at the Chabad of Poway, the ceremony will also pay tribute to Lori Gilbert Kaye z”l who was tragically killed while protecting her rabbi.
“Masa’s Yom Hazikaron Ceremony has become a monumental event over the years. The event provides a unique opportunity for Jews from around the world and Israelis to commemorate Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror together,” said Masa Israel Acting CEO Ofer Gutman. “This ceremony connects the global Jewish community through the story and people of Israel. We are coming together through darkness and lifting one another up. At a time of global crisis, our unity is vital. This is the strength of our Jewish history, and the strength of our Jewish future.”
Click here to view photos from pre-recorded parts of the event.