IDF ORPHANS BARMITZVAH IN JERUSALEM

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aj-voelke-with-idf-chaplan-putting-on-tefilin

IDF WIDOWS AND ORPHANS ORGANIZATION

 

IDF ORPHANS CELEBRATE COMING OF AGE IN JERUSALEM

ISRAELI CHILDREN ARE JOINED BY SON OF U.S. FALLEN SOLDIER

  

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL (13/10/2016) Thirty-three IDF orphans celebrated their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs in a day-long event in Jerusalem organized by the IDF Widows and Orphans Organization. The day of celebrations began at the Herzl Museum, where the children learned about the roots of Zionism and the Jewish State. Following the museum visit, the moving Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremony began with the IDF Chief Rabbi Brig. General Rafi Peretz and IDFWO Chairperson Tami Shelach presenting the boys with their first set of Tefilin, after which they were called up to the Torah with musical accompaniment from the Chief IDF Cantor and his choir. The Bat Mitzvah girls received religious books and candlesticks, while the non-Jewish orphans also received religious items in accordance with their own faiths. The ceremony was followed by a festive meal and event at the Jerusalem Theatre in the presence of President Reuven Rivlin, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot and Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman.The Israeli children were joined by A.J Voelke, a Jewish American boy who lost his father in Afghanistan while serving with the U.S. Army.

 

Tami Shelach, Chairperson of IDF Widows and Orphans Organization:

“We are one large family that has turned our loss into hope for a better future. I want you all to know that we will always be there for you. To your wonderful parents, I say look around at the incredible children around us that you have imbued with the love of the Land and People of Israel, be proud of yourselves, that after everything that you’ve been through you have still raised magnificent children.”

 

President Reuven Rivlin:

“I know that all of you will continue to be a source of hope to make the world a better and more peaceful place. We will accompany you always as you continue to grow and make your families and the People of Israel proud.”

 

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman:

“I am happy to be here and honored to give you a blessing on this day. We will continue to stand by your side, to help with the pain and longing. I want to thank IDFWO on another year of successful programs. All of Israel adopts you into their hearts.”

 

Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot:

“I know how much you miss your parents and spouses, no words can help the pain, I want to thank IDFWO and Tami Shelach, for always providing a helping hand, a shoulder to lean on and an open heart.”

 

IDF Widows and Orphans Organization, founded in 1991, is the sole non-profit organization recognized by the State of Israel that represents and supports the widows and orphans of Israel’s fallen soldiers. The organization provides social, emotional and financial support to widows and orphans who have suffered the greatest loss: that of a husband and/or father. From the moment that the family is informed of the tragic news, until the child graduates university, the IDFWO is on hand to support and help those left behind. http://www.idfwo.org/homePage.htm

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