Yom Hazikaron – Sydney

April 20, 2010 Agencies
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More than four hundred community members attended the State Zionist Council of NewSouth Wales’  Yom Hazikaron ceremony at the National Council for Jewish Women in Woollahra. 

Deputy Chief of Mission at the Israeli Embassy Eli Yerushalami addresses the meeting

The function, honoring the memories of Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror was supported by Zahal Disabled Veterans Organisation.

On the 9th of August 2006, two days before his 23rd birthday, Nir Cohen, reservist tank driver, was killed by an anti tank missile in Southern Lebanon.

Nir had finished his service a year and a half earlier and had since been working on Machon L’Madrichei Chutz L’Aretz.  Nir was a Madrich on Machzor 114, a key part in the shnat program for most Australian Zionist youth movements. His Shnat chanichim wrote: “We were privileged to encounter a person who loved his country with such an inspiring passion.  He spoke excitedly about the culture, the humour, nature and his army experiences.  Nir was a true young Israeli: wild hair, Turkish coffee kit and dreams of study and travel, especially down under.”

Faces in the crowd

Asaf Ramon by Jonathan Baker, Netzer

It was a sunny June day in Jerusalem, and 25, or so, Pilots strutted onto the machon campus where 50 naive and innocent Australian and South African watched in quiet awe. One of those pilots was a young man named only as ‘Asaf’. Approximately an hour later we found ourselves no longer looking admiration of them but goofing around with them, making strange video’s on the differences between Australians and Israeli’s.  Topics included maturity, road rage and the ability to consume beverages.  After the humorous set of shenanigans were done and dusted, we sat down and the atmosphere changed. “We’re not trying to be heroes” said Asaf. “We’re just trying to be the best so that we can do the best.” On the 13th of September, 2009, the Ramon family, the Israeli family, and the global Jewish family was devastated as an F-16 hit the ground, taking with it a young pilot named Asaf Ramon. He left behind a proud mother, four siblings and a struggling nation. Why this young man received a large amount of attention was that his father tragically was taken from this world in a similar fashion 7 years ago. Ilan Ramon was the first Israeli astronaut in history, sadly he was also a member of the crewmen that lost their lives on the Columbia into outerspace.

The tekes was followed by the Torch of honour ceremony, where thirteen people were awarded for their commitment to Zionism, the Jewish community and the State of Israel.

The audience listens to the speaker

Editor’s note: Tekes is Ivrit/Hebrew for ceremony/ritual

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