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Facing Memorial Day 

Judith Segaloff  | May 13, 2024

 

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Ohr Torah Stone, a Modern Orthodox network of 32 educational and social institutions and programs, is also relating differently to this Memorial Day. Thirteen alumni and 31 members of the extended OTS family (fathers, siblings and children of students and faculty) of the Ohr Torah Stone network have been killed since Oct. 7.

“This year we are all mourners,” Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander, president and rosh yeshiva of Ohr Torah Stone, said. “It’s not just a national story; it’s a personal story. We all have friends and people we know, who either lost their lives or left limbs on the battlefield.”

One of Ohr Torah Stone’s post-high school programs for women who want to serve in the army, Midreshet Lindenbaum in Lod, chose 10 families of slain soldiers, interviewed the families and created a Memorial Day curriculum for elementary schools and youth movements across Israel, talking about the lives of the 10 soldiers.

Neveh Channah Girls High School, near Alon Shvut, created 33 mosaics representing Israeli communities that were attacked in the Hamas onslaught. They will be displayed in the Sderot auditorium where this year’s Israel Prize award ceremony will be held on Independence Day.

Neveh Shmuel Boys High School in Efrat, which lost nine alumni, invited parents and siblings to mass singing event titled “Our Brother is Lost” with musician Aharon Razel alongside a music video recorded by the students with the families of fallen alumni as well as families of students who lost father/brothers.

“The students are building these programs on their own, using diverse ways of expressing their feelings this year,” Brander said. “An art display at Katz Oriyia High School featured luggage with windows, doors and interior lights, representing the families forced to leave their homes. Their luggage is their home.”

The above is an excerpt from the article “Newly bereaved families face Memorial Day with dread.” Read more on the JNS website

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