The Zahal Disabled Veterans Organisation and Gilad Shalit.

February 15, 2012 by Henry Benjamin
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More than 700 members of the Sydney Jewish community watched the film made by Tamar Pross as she chronicled  four of the five tortuous years experienced by Aviva and Noam Shalit during which they fought a daily battle for the freedom of their son Gilad, held captive by Hamas for five years.

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd meets Noam and Aviva Shalit, parents of Gilad pic: Mati Miltstein


Ilan Egozi, Michael Balkin, Tamar Pross

Gilad Shalit

Pross was born in Australia but was brought up in both countries. She presented her film “Family in Captivity” over three sessions and was accompanied by Ilan Egozi who is the Executive Director of the Zahal Disabled Veterans Fund which runs state of the art rehabilitation centres in Israel for those severely injured while serving with the IDF.

The audience sat spell-bound as Pross took it on a journey into the Shalit home in the northern town of Mitzpe Hila and followed Aviva and Noam as they made their long journey of hope to free their son. Along the way, the film showed the meeting between Noam Shalit and former US President Jimmy Carter and the establishment of the long march from the Shalit home before the establishment of the protest tent outside the home of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Film audience

The film concluded its coverage of events at then of four years of captivity of the now 25-yr-old Shalit.

Still closely in touch with the Shalit family, Pross filmed Gilad Shalit after his release in October last year deliver a message of gratitude to those who had called for his release and offered the family support during his time in captivity.

Colonel [rtd] Ilan Egozi showed another movie outlining the work the ZDVO does at its centres illustrated by the stories of four of those who have benefited from its facilities. He told the audience: “I think Gilad Shalit will be with us for a very long time”.

ZDVO is run under the leadership of Michael Balkin in Sydney. It has four Beit Halochem centres  in Israel located in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Be’ersheba.


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