JNF showcases two special speakers

November 7, 2013 by Henry Benjamin
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JNF gala fundraising events throughout the country were addressed by an engaging Israeli war hero joined in Sydney and Melbourne by a current serving Israeli Cabinet Minister.


Kahalani hands over the flag

Kahalani hands over the flag   Photo Henry Benjamin


Avigdor Kahalani is a retired Brigadier-Genereal who received the Medal of Distinguished Service for the role he played in the 1967 Six Day War and Israel’s highest military honour The Medal of Valor for the role he played as commander of the 77th Armoured Brigade which fought and won the tank battle in the Valley of Tears in the 1973 Yom Kippur War in

Avigdor Kahalani

Avigdor Kahalani   photo: Henry Benjamin

Ya'acpv Peri

Ya’akov Peri   phot: Henry Benjamin

which Israeli tanks were outnumbered by the Syrian Army by eight to one.

Kahalani, who many believe saved Israel from defeat in that infamous battle, went on to become Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv and a Labor member member of the Knesset.

He was joined in Melbourne and Sydney by Israel’s Minister of Science and Technology Ya’akov Peri well-known asa former head of Israel’s security agency Shin Bet.

JNF’s CEO Dan Springer told J-Wire: “Kahalani visited schools at which we showed actual footage of the 1973 battle in the Valley of Tears. He endeared himself to all who met him and the number who heard him must have been close to 3,000. We are thrilled with the results. It’s a new JNF. We still are proudly connected to the land and especially the trees but now we are embracing the wider environment and are directly involved in turning Ben Gurion’s dream of creating a thriving Negev into a reality ”

Kahalani’s message to the community was clear. He believed firmly in the expression from King Solomon’s Kohelet: “Generations go [pointing to himself] and generations come [pointing to schoolchildren] and the land is there forever”. He symbolically handed over the flag from his hands to those of a member of the emerging generation.

The fabled fighter, who received burns to 60% of his body when fighting in the Sinai in 1967 spending a year in hospital, demonstrated his commitment to this statement by appearing in fron of almost 800 guests at Randwick Raceourse in Sydney holding an Israeli flag.

He then invited junior JNF members to join him on stage and there, true to from generation to generation, the charismatic soldier handed the flag over to the next generation.”

Minister Peri spoke more on topical affairs impacting on Israel…a rare opportunity for members of the Australian Jewish community to hear directly from a distinguished Cabinet Minister.

Among the VIP guests attending the event were NSW Governor Marie Bashir and her husband SIr Nicholas Shehadie,  Federal Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Union official Paul Howes.

JNF Australia showed a movie of the efforts they have made in the development water facilities at Shar HaNegev,  directly opposite Gaza. Kahalani visited Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Kahalani with Moriah students

Kahalani with Moriah students


Kahalani with Masada students

Kahalani with Masada students


Kahalani with Emanuel students    all pix: Henry Benjamin

Kahalani with Emanuel students all pix: Henry Benjamin


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