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"Together for Them" project established by El Ami - El Atzmi non profit organization

togetherforthem@elami-elatzmi.co.il

POB 747, Hod Hasharon, ISRAEL

Bringing wounded IDF combat veterans to schools and Jewish communities, enabling them to tell their inspiring stories.
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Avigdor Kahalani

Avigdor, born in 1944, is married with 3 children and lives in Tel-Aviv.

Avigdor Kahalani served as a company commander in the Armored Corps. During the Six-Day War he was severely wounded, for which he was awarded a citation, which was later changed to a Medal of Honor.

Avigdor suffered from burns on 60 percent of his body, was hospitalized for a year though later returned to the armored corps.

During the Yom Kippur War, he commanded the 77th Battalion in the Golan Heights. The tank force under his command managed to recapture the occupied positions and destroyed hundreds of Syrian tanks (about 300 in number). For his part in these significant battles, he was awarded the Medal of Valor.

Avigdor has served as Knesset member, party leader and as the Minister of Internal Security.

Avigdor has published six books and 15 songs so far.

Avigdor's Life motto:

To be part of the community. To give what I can. To proudly raise the national flag high with both my hands until my strength fails me.

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Doron B. Levinson, born in 1951, is married and has 3 children.

As an IDF officer, Doron was wounded 3 times and was cited twice for his conduct in the battlefield.

After an invasion against terrorists in Lebanon on Feb.1972, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant by the Israeli Chief of stuff, for his conduct in the battlefield. After the operations and a long process of rehabilitation, as a result of the two injuries, he returned to command his unit in the Armored corps, despite his injuries.

He was seriously wounded (for the third time) during the 1973 Yom Kippur War and was promoted to the rank of Captain by the Commander of the Armored corps, for his conduct during the war.

Menachem Begin, the former Israel PM, wrote to him: "The pride of our people rests on boys like you".

After a long and complicated period of rehabilitation, he studied law at Tel Aviv University and graduated, Cum Laude, his legal studies. He then continued his LL.M studies at the University of Michigan and did his PHD studies at Toronto University.

In recent years Doron has dedicated his life to the pursuit of peace in the region and was a member in the negotiation's team with the Palestinians on trade and commerce issues.

Today Doron is a businessman and an expert in negotiations and conflict resolution.

Despite of his serious injuries, Doron served for 32 years in the I.D.F. reserved forces.

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Doron B. Levinson

Doron's Life motto:

Happiness isn't getting what you want, it's wanting what you got in fulfillment, appreciation and gratitude.

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Liran Baruch

Liran Baruch, born in 1979, married to Orly with 2 children,  lives in Beit Dagan.

He enlisted to the Paratroopers Brigade in July 1999.

In 2002, during an operation against uprisings in the Qalandiya refugee camp, a large stone was thrown at him, that hit his left eye.

He managed to get to safety on his own, still holding his weapon and his blood-soaked eye.

After initial treatment, he was transferred to the Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital in Jerusalem, where he underwent several eye operations.

Following the incident, Liran lost sight in his left eye and underwent a long rehabilitation period to adjust to his new condition.

Today he is very active in the fight against organizations that deny the existence of the State of Israel and  heads the Wounded IDF  Soldiers Forum for Israel's Security.

Liran's Life motto:

To make from the “lemons” and what was decreed, lemonade, because in the end you sacrificed something for your country.

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Niv Keshet, born in 1985, single, lives in Ginot shomron

Niv served as an infantry soldier and joined the Nachshon Battalion in March, 2003.

The battalion was founded to fight terrorism in Judea and Samaria, while professionalizing  in military operations in urban terrain.

After training and fighting as a combat soldier, he went to a Class Commanders’ course and then returned as a Squad Commander in one of the operational squads.

During clashes and other difficult events, three of his companions lost their lives for the sake of Israel.

In September 2004, while commanding a patrol mission in the city of Qalqiliya, he identified a suspicious figure riding a bicycle. During the arrest, the rider, who turned out to be a terrorist, detonated a bomb attached to his body, severely injuring Niv.

Through this, Niv and his team prevented a serious attack in one of the cities of Israel.

Niv was evacuated to Beilinson Hospital and underwent a long rehabilitation period.

Luck goes with the bold.

Niv's Life motto:

Niv Keshet

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Oren Or Bittoun 

Oren Or Bittoun, born in 1971, married with 4 children, lives in Kfar Saba.

Oren served as a combat soldier and commander in the founding team of the Border Police Undercover Unit, in Judea and Samaria.

He participated in daily activities - fighting terror, conducting arrests and eliminating terrorists with blood on their hands, as well as preventing terrorist acts,which were designed and carried out, against Israeli citizens and IDF soldiers. In August of 1992, Oren took part in a military operation to capture wanted terrorists In Jenin. At the very last minute decision, his commander Eli Avram took his place as the team leader of the breach force, and he unfortunately was killed right in front of Oren's eyes.

These traumatic and difficult experiences that Oren suffered during his service, resulted in him suffering from chronic PTSD, which was officially recognized only 16 years after his military service.

Today, Oren is treated as an IDF veteran suffering from PTSD and despite all that, he does not let this condition to disable him or limit his will and capability to help others, run a successful business, and live happily with his family.

On top of being a successful businessman and having a full family life, he gives Battle Heritage lectures and motivational talks in front of teens who are about to join the IDF.

Oren published a book titled “Powder Keg” - Which tells in detail his personal rattling story about dealing with PTSD and his way to defeat it.

He also is the founder and chairman of the ”Trauma 4 Good” association, which helped dozens of PTSD victims among army and resque teams veterans in Israel.

Oren's Life motto: 

Help others to help yourself – if you save one soul, It's like saving the whole world.

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Roee Granitza 

Roee, born in 1985, is married to Sarit and is the father of three, and lives in Bruchin, in the Shomron.

He joined the Armored Corps in 2005.

Roee was severely wounded during the Second Lebanon War in the Battle of Wadi Saluki, by an anti-tank missile.

He suffered spinal, ribs and shoulder fractures.

He also incurred burns to his face, hands and feet, as well as lung damage. 

Roee spent a month on a respirator, unconscious in the ICU. He went through respiratory rehabilitation and then neurological respiratory rehabilitation. Later Roee continued treatment as an out-patient.

Sarit, who was his girlfriend at the time of his injury, stayed by his side the entire time, and in the end they married.

Today, Roee is a successful lawyer, specializing in bodily injuries and contributes his time to the education of Israeli children.

Roee's Life motto:

Be happy with what you have, and don't forget, life is too short to be angry!

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Shlomi Bicha

Shlomi, born in 1978, is married and lives in Kfar Vradim in northern Israel.

Shlomi served in the Nachal brigade. During the Second Lebanon War he served as a lieutenant colonel and led a combat force that entered a house in the village of Hula, which was full of ammunition. Terrorists ambushed them and he was seriously wounded in a shootout, finding himself alone until finally being evacuated.

After surgery to remove shrapnel and bullets from his leg and pelvis and year and a half long rehabilitation period, he began his return to full physical activity, including running.

After more than 17 years in the IDF, Shlomi works today as an inspector in a large construction company.

Shlomi's Life motto:

When the going gets tough, find someone to help. 

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Amit, born in 1984, single and lives in Tel Aviv and works at Apple.

Amit served in the armored corps and was severely wounded in the Second Lebanon War when the tank he commanded on was hit by a Kornet missile.

Amit suffered from a punctured lung, smoke inhalation, burns on his face, eyes, neck and hands, as well as from sharpnels on his left hand.

Amit returned to military service after 3 months of rehabilitation.

He went to Armored Corps Officer course, he served for a year in training positions and as a lieutenant in the reserves for 5 years. Amit is still doing reserve duty.

Amit's Life motto:

 He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how (Nietzsche)

Amit Maoz

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Ofir, born in 1985, is married and lives in Ra'anana.
Ofir served in a combat engineering unit which searched for terror tunnels.
During operation Tzuk Eitan, a missile was fired at his force and 11 reservists were wounded, including Ofir.

He was evacuated to Soroka Hospital and later hospitalized at Ichilov Hospital.

Ofir was injured in his right leg and left arm by shrapnel, as well as in his head and ears, and underwent rehabilitation at Tel Hashomer Hospital.

Today Ofir is a Vice President of tenants at one of the largest construction companies in Israel.

Ofir's Life motto:

Stop whining' get up and do something! Other people got it a lot harder than you do.

Ofir Anidgar

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Noam Dadon

Noam, born in 1988, is single and lives in Ramat Gan.
Noam served in the elite Duvdevan unit.
While Noam was in the Brigade Commander course, which includes an academic degree, Noam voluntarily joined the fighting during Operation Tzuk Eitan.
During a long and difficult battle which lasted several hours, while managing  to prevent the operation of a terror tunnel, Noam was severely injured and underwent a long rehabilitation that included numerous surgeries.
Noam returned to service in 2017 and served in a non-combat position.

Noam's Life motto:

Water dissolves stone through perseverance, not through physical strength.

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Daniel Friedmann

Daniel, born in 1988, is married and lives in Elkana.

During in operation in Sajaiya neighborhood of Gaza City, during Operation Tzuk Eitan, Daniel was wounded in his hand by an explosion.

Daniel underwent several months of rehabilitation at Tel Hashomer.

After the rehabilitation Daniel began studying Structural Engineering in the university.

Daniel is now in the process of returning to serve as a reserve duty with The National Search and Rescue unit.

Daniel's Lefe motto:

More deeds, less talk

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Sivan Ron

Sivan, born in 1992, married and lives in NY/Even-Yehuda.

Sivan grew up on Kibbutz Lotem in the north of Israel with his three brothers. Sivan did a year of voluntary community service before the military with "Youth at Risk," after which he enlisted in the Magellan elite unit, and was part of the "Efron Team", which lost 3 men during the fighting in Operation Tzuk Eitan.

Sivan's team encountered fierce battles against terrorists. In one of these battles, Sivan was severely wounded by shrapnel from an explosive device detonated near the building where he and his friends were staying.

Sivan underwent many surgeries as part of his rehabilitation and during that time decided he wanted to engage in education and training.

After his strength and physical health were returning to him, he decided to travel for a while. He is currently studying communication and public relations in Queens and currently works for the Friends of Israeli Scouts and helps young Jews to make Aliya.

Sivan's Life motto:

If you're not the last one, there will always be someone behind you to help.

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Reuven Magnagy

Reuven, born in 1972, born and raised in Bnei Brak.

He is married to Lilach and a father of five sons.

Reuven was wounded in 2002 during Operation Defensive shield in Jenin.

Of the 14 soldiers from his platoon who entered a body-trapped building in the Jenin refugee camp to purge him of terrorists, he was the only one who survived.

Two years after his injury, he rethought his path, chose to change direction in his career. He stopped working as an industrial and management engineer, and found himself engaged in a sport known as rowing.

He won first place in the Israeli championship. He went on to represent Israel in the Paralympic Games in London, Beijing and Rio. Reuven won a silver medal in the 2013 World Championship in England.

Reuven works as Metal sports coach and manager of Israel's paralympuic national rowing team.

Reuven's Life motto:

Work hard in silence, let your success be your noise

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Itai Avraham

Itai, born in 1985, married to Daniella and a father of Carmel and Be’eri.

He lives in the Golan and loves the country and the land. Itai is the 8th generation in his family to be born in Jerusalem.

Itai served in an elite unit, specializing in reconnaissance and intelligence gathering for the armored corps, and was wounded in an ambush during the Second Lebanon war in 2006.

Today he works both as a Nurse and as a Paramedic, and continues serving in the IDF as a Paramedic with the Airborne Combat Search and Rescue unit, intent on saving lives and making lives better, Giving himself to others and continuing to pass on the message of love for Israel and its people.

Itai's Life motto:

Strive to bring change and make a difference through your actions

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Shahaf, born in 1988, is single and lives in Gan Yavne.

Served in the special anti-terror unit, Sayeret Golani, as a sharpshooter and a medic.

During operation “cast lead” (the Gaza war), the team’s Staff Sargent, Dvir Emanuelof, was shot and killed from a terror tunnel, Shahaf got injured while trying to save Dvir’s life.

Shahaf got evacuated to Soroka hospital for a major reconstructive surgery on his arm, which led to five years of surgeries and rehabilitation in Tel HaShomer hospital.

Today, sport is a major part of Shahaf’s life including MMA, climbing and snowboarding. Shahaf got his L.LB, M.B.A and his practicing certificate, currently Shahaf is chasing acceptance to American universities to have his second master’s.

Shahaf's Life motto:

What matters most is how well you walk through the fire

Shahaf Segal

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 Dror Zicherman

Dror is single, born in 1985, lives in Tel Aviv. Dror served as an infantry soldier in the Nachson Battalion, as part of the Kfir Unit.

Dror served most of his army service in the area of the Arab city of Tul Karem.

Dror was wounded in 2005 during the Hanukkah holiday, after stopping a suicide bomber at a border checkpoint in South Tul Karem, who was on his way to kill as many Israelis possible during a concert.

The terrorist exploded himself at the checkpoint. His commanding officer, Uri Binamo z”l was killed and Dror was severely injured.

Today Dror lives in Tel Aviv and works as a gym instructor.

Dror's Life motto:

My injury is a gift for me

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Yaron is a retired Lieutenant-Colonel, still serving in reserve duty.        

During an operation to neutralize a terrorist who infiltrated a settlement in the Jordan Valley, Yaron snatched a bundle of shots that hit his foot. He was forced to evacuate to the hospital where he was informed that the terrorist had succeeded in his plot to murder a mother and her son. The physical injury dwarfed the immense mental pain he had following the incident.

​Yaron served as Deputy Brigade Commander, Battalion Commander and Commander of the Southern Command infantry training base, responsible for preparing IDF fighters and commanders for general combat in the Gaza Strip as well as during Operation Protective Edge. Despite being wounded in combat, Yaron also served as a Special Operations Officer in Central Command, responsible for classified operations carried out by an elite IDF unit across Judea and Samaria.

During his service, Yaron assisted the IDF spokesman with critical Israel advocacy geared towards foreign government officials including members of the United States Congress, European Parliaments, prominent academics, and senior officers from allied militaries around the world.

​The President of Israel awarded the unit under Yaron's command with a special merit certificate in recognition of its operational commitment and extraordinary achievements in the war against terrorism.

Yaron's Life motto:

In a fast-paced world looking for brakes all the time, happiness needs to be organized, but trouble comes naturally 

Yaron Buskila

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Lior Ophir

Lior, born in 1978, at Mount Scopus Hospital in Jerusalem and is happily married to Michal and they have 4 children, in whom he invests his whole being.

He grew up in the Ramat Eshkol neighborhood in a national religious house. He studied high school for 4 years at the Netiv Meir high school yeshiva.
After a short study at the Hesder Yeshiva in the "Shadmot Mehola" settlement in the Jordan Valley

Lior enlisted in a paratroops unit and became a sniper. His team, "Bardach" took an active role in the combat unit.

Lior took part operation "Reducing Range" deep inside Lebanon. The aim of the operation was to hit Hizbollah terrorists leaving their bases in the villages. On Thursday, February 23, 1999, Lior's life changed.

Lior's commanders were killed and Lior was wounded while trying to rescue the body of his commander.

Lior underwent several surgeries to try and save his injured hand and to restore as much function possible.
As part of the rehabilitation, Lior decided to return to Torah study at the Gush Etzion Hesder Yeshiva in Alon Shvut and at the same time volunteered at at the "Beit Aviv" hostel for children with autism.
Lior studied for a bachelor's degree in software engineering and began working for Cisco as a developer. Today, Lior leads development teams in the company.

 

Lior's Life motto:

Constantly in motion, with the face forward towards the summit

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Elyosef Malkieli

Elyosef, born in 1991, married.

Elyosef was born and raised in Kibbutz Migdal Oz near Jerusalem. He served in Golani as a platoon commander. During Operation Tzuk Eitan, while he was commanding  his soldiers Elyosef faced a moment that changed his and his soldiers life entirley.

A grenade that had rolled into their armored vehicle endangered the lives of numerous soldiers. Elyosef jumped on the grenade and thus saved his soldiers, but he was seriously injured and rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

Elyosef underwent a significant rehabilitation process.

Today Elyosef is a student studying for a bachelor's degree in law and government.

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Elad Horowitz

Elad was born and raised in Rosh Ha'ayin. Elad was a squad leader in Givati and was wounded in July 2014 during Operation Tzuk Eitan in Gaza by a sniper's bullet to his head. He was rushed to the hospital in serious condition and underwent many challenges during the recovery period when a serious infection caused further complications.

Elad lost an eye but continues to live his life filled with joy.

Today he lives in Jerusalem and is a second-year student of psychology at the Hebrew University.

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Elior Dor

Major Elior Dor "Dubchek", born in 1987, married to Vika and a father to a boy, lives in Kiryat Ata.

Elior enlisted into the Armored Corps and fought in the Second Lebanon War, Operation Cast Lead, Operation Hot Winter, Operation Protective Edge and more.

He served in the IDF for 11 years.

Elior was wounded several times during various combat operations but managed to rehabilitate and return to full combat service each time.

Elior received numerous commendations for his actions during these operations.

You just can’t beat the person who never gives up

Elior's Life motto:

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Ohad Roisblat

Ohad, captain (Ret.), was born in 1992, in Kiryat Haim.

Ohad finished high school and majored in computer science and physics.

In 2010, Ohad enlisted with the Golani Brigade, Battalion 51. After basic training and advanced training he went on to Commander's course after which he returned to the 51st Battalion as a platoon commander. In 2012 Ohad joined Golani's 13th battalion and commanded the scouts unit.

During Operation Zuk Eitan, Ohad's role was to lead the Golani Brigade into the Sajayea neighborhood, taking over a building and leading the unit into battle. On 20.7.14, during one of the most difficult battles in Gaza, his APC was hit. 7 of Ohad's soldiers were killed in the incident, one of whom was Oron Shaul. Ohad was wounded and was evacuated to the hospital.

Ohad went through two major surgeries on his legs and spent several months in the hospital. After a year of intense rehabilitation, Ohad decided the best rehab for him is to go back to the army. He returned as an officer in the Military Command and Leadership boarding school in Haifa.

After a year Ohad decided to end his military career in order to continue to his next goal: to study law and international relations in order to be an Israeli ambassador in the future and serve the country and it’s citizens in the diplomatic realm.

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Ohad's Life motto:

The more you give the more you get

Elad Mei Rav

Elad major (Res.), born in 1980, married with 5 children, lives in Kdumim.
Elad enlisted in 2000, to Sayeret (special unit) Golani and served as an officer in it.
Elad fought in Defensive shield and other operations in the West bank and Gaza.
In 2007, during reserve duty, as a company commander, Elad was injured in his right leg while atempting arrest of a terrorist who threw an explosive device at him the day prior.
After returning from duty, Elad went through surgery and prolonged rehabilitation, he continues to suffer from his injury to this day.
Today, Elad works in Entrepreneurship and real estate marketing in Israel, and serves as a regiment vice commander at the Golani reserves unit, 9th brigade. 

Elad's Life motto:

The greatest thing in the world is to do good for another (Grand Rabbi of Piaseczno)

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Amazia Fensterheim

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Born in 1993, Amazia enlisted into the patrol regiment of paratroops brigade in 2013.
In 2014, as a part of operation Tzuk Eitan, Amazia was sent along with his team, team Paz, to a site in order to blow up terrorist tunnels, which were used to smuggle terrorists into Israel.
At the 23 of July 2014, while Amazia's team were working on locating a tunnel, a powerful explosive charge was set off which hit Amazia, along with about 17 other soldiers and killed Amazia's four squad members. Amazia was the only member of Paz team's head squad that survived.
After rehabilitation, Amazia started lecturing on subjects including bravery, excellence and leadership in the IDF and the civilian world, in Israel and the USA.
Todey, Amazia is a Krav Maga instructor, military lecturor on excellence and leadership, civilian lecturor on bravery, caretaker and NLP host, and is an owner of an institute which prepares youths physically and mentally for military service.

Amazia's Life motto:

Whether you believe you can or can't, you're right. Just do it!

Amazia
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Elchanan Shtiglitz

Born in 1984, married to Hava with 5 children, lives in Lod.
Elchanan enlisted in August 2003 to the Armored corps' 401st brigade.
In June 2004 during a stakeout a sniper fired a shot aimed directly into Elchanan's heart. Miraculously, the bullet hit Elchanan's rifle and bullet fragments entered his palm instead.
After first aid at the base, Elchanan was transfered to Soroka hospital for bullet fragment removal surgery and medical care which continued at Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital, after which a long recovery period insued.
As a resault of the encounter, Elchanan lost a part of his motor skills and feeling in his palm, as well as remaining bullet and rifle fragments which impare Elchanan's life each and every day.
Today Elchanan is a Rabbi and educator for Zionism, Shlikhut, love for Am Israel, Torath Israel, Eretz Israel and the state of Israel. Elchanan also continues his service in reserves as an infantry regiment Rabbi.

Elchanan's Life motto:

You have a pure heart, then do!

Elchanan
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Yaron Porter

Yaron, born in 1984, lives in Tel-Aviv and Miami.

Up until 2012, Yaron did his service at an elite classified unit in the Israeli Special Forces (equivalent to the Navy Seals, Delta force), Unit 7707, also known as The Unit for Counterterrorism.

On August 12 2011, squad of 24 terrorists from ISIS Sinai (Ansar Beit al-Maqdis) wanted to enter the city of Eilat, they planned to carry out the greatest terror attack in the history of Israel.

Yaron's team were the first to encounter, eliminate, and stop the terrorists of ISIS Sinai which until this day was the first & only clash between ISIS and the IDF. 

This event and the sights he seen left Yaron with post-trauma, PTSD. From being a successful businessman and an outstanding warrior, Yaron fell into a deep pit of hell for several years, an extremely difficult time in his life.

Today he is in a better place, Yaron is a public motivational speaker & volunteering in Tracking and rehabilitate veterans suffering from PTSD with a high risk of suicides in Israel and USA.

He is lecturing about his story and he is helping to stop those suicides among military veterans.

Yaron's Life motto:

"You can't really overcome PTSD. But hey... You can learn how to dance with the demons"

Porter
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Amit was born in 1996 and lives in Tel Aviv.

Amit served in the Givati Brigade, in the elite units, in the Palchan (Sabotage and Engineering Company).

After 12 months of service, Amit was assigned to reinforce Kfir's forces. During one of the activities Amit fell off a cliff. Due to the complexity of the incident, Amit could not be evacuated for more than 16 hours, and Amit was forced to stay with the unit in hostile territory for more than 9 hours.

Amit was diagnosed with a severe nerve injury and began an exhausting mental and physical rehabilitation process.

Today, Amit and his older brothers run a number of businesses. His older brothers helped and supported him greatly.

In addition, Amit is a lecturer about personal development and growth.

Amit's Life motto:

Perseverance equals success!

Amit Shmuel

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Roy Grilak

Born in 1985, married to Sabina and father of a girl, resident of Hod Hasharon.

Roy enlisted to the Nachal Brigade in November 2003. In August 2006, during the Second Lebanon War, Roy was severely wounded in a face-to-face combat with Hezbollah terrorists and was hit by five machine gun bullets in his body: two bullets shattered his right leg, a bullet shattered his lower jaw, another bullet penetrated his back and came out of the chest and one last bullet hit the left arm. In addition he was hit by many shrapnels in all parts of the body.

Roy's initial rehabilitation process lasted four years during which he underwent many surgeries and medical treatments. To this day, Roy faces many medical problems and issues that accompany him throughout his life.

Roy is currently a successful lawyer and accountant in the field of taxes.

Roy’s Life motto:

Always try to be the best version of yourself.

RoyG

Ron Weinreich

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Ron born in Israel in 1986 but raised in the US until the age of 15.  

He served in the armored corps. as a Tank Commander and was injured during the Second Lebanon War while leading his men.  

Ron suffered a spinal injury due to a building that collapsed on him.  

His greatest loves are music and business - and he has excelled in both. 

Ron had become a renowned musician as well as being the CEO of Israel’s most extraordinary business consulting firms, developing the leaders of some of the most influential organizations in the world. 

Ron’s Life motto:

You get to say how your life goes and who you are in any circumstance

Ron W

Gal Roitsztein

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Born in 1980, married and a father to a girl. Gal lives in Petah-Tikvah. 

Gal served in the Armored Corps and during the training course his leg was injured. He underwent several operations but insisted on continuing to serve as a soldier in the IDF. His desire to be a combat soldier overcame the pain of his injury.

After an incident with casualties inside Lebanon, Gal joined forces with a rescue mission to extract his friends, and there he saw several of his comrades killed and wounded. Gal had been suffering from PTSD since this incident and was just recently recognized as such by the IDF.

 After his army service Gal lived on a farm in the Netherlands where they treated him and taught him about animal therapy. Gal stayed on the farm for 3 years, and after leaving he studied for almost 7 years to become a professional dog trainer with professional therapy and service dogs.

 Gal has built his own non-profit organization that trains service dogs and assist army veterans and people with disabilities to use service dogs.

Gal’s Life motto:

Start again

Gal Roitsztein

Steven Wailand

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Steven was born in Houston, TX in 1984. His family made Aliyah to Jerusalem when he was 10 years old, in 1995. Steven is married to Ruth, and a father to Amalia.

Steven enlisted into the Medical Corps and trained to become a paramedic. During his service, he was stationed in various locations. He joined the fight in the Second Lebanon War with Palsar 401 in the summer of 2006. Two of his friends from his training were killed in combat during the war. Steven continued to treat wounded soldiers and lost his operational partner, Itay Steinberger Z"L, when their unit was ambushed by terrorist fire. After this incident, Steven proceeded to save lives and was awarded a Medal of Honor for his courageous actions. Since the events, Steven has suffered from PTSD and manages his condition via communication and therapy.

 Today, Steven is a high school teacher, specializing in English and Music. He lives in Zichron Ya'akov and plans to continue educating young people about his army experience.

Steven’s Life motto:

Plan your future and count your blessing. We never know which day will be our last.

Steven

Omer Mor

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Born in 1996, single and live in Tel-Aviv. 

Omer enlisted to the Combat Collection Corps, in the special unit called “Yahmam” – the target intelligence unit. The unit participated in operations in which they gathered accurate information about the Hezbollah organization beyond enemy lines. 

Due to the heavy weights, he curried Omer suffered from savere shoulder inflammation that after few months transfer into a predatory bacterium in his right shoulder that spread all over his right hand and right chest. 

Omer went 6 surgeries and the rehabilitation process that took a year.  

Today Omer is studying sustainability and governance, diplomacy, and strategy at Reichman University and he is working in EIT hub Israel, which is the branch of the Innovation and technology division of the European Union in Israel. Omer is  also part of the Soccer team of the IDF Disabled Organization. 

Omer’s Life motto:

OmerMor

Hilal Besan

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Hilal Besan, a Druze from the village of Yanoch-Gat in the Galilee, born in 1981, married and father of 3 children.

Hilal is a member of a second-generation bereaved family, his uncle, his father's brother, was killed in the army, and his twin brother, the late Meishar Jalal Besan, was killed in the Carmel disaster.
In 2014, despite being shot twice in the chest, he continued to function and remained standing firmly on his feet. As a result of the injury, Hilal was left severely disabled, and he is using crutches.

For his performance in the event, for striving for contact and for saving the lives of his fellow members, Hilal received a commendation from the commander of the prisons service and the exemplary decoration with the presence of the Minister of Internal Security.

Today Hilal gives lectures on dealing with bereavement, injury, and his outlook on life. Hilal gives hope to people who face all kinds of difficult situations in life, and shows them that it is possible to overcome difficulties and thrive in any situation and at any time.

Hilal’s Life motto:

Nothing is impossible, sometimes something in us has to die in order for us to live in a new way.
As long as you haven't stopped dreaming, you prosper, fly as far as you can, you have everything you need in you.

Hilal Besan

Lahav Karni

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Lahav Karni, born in 1975, is married to Oshrat and has four children. They live in Mitzpe Netupa.
In 1994, he enlisted to the Golani Brigade, the 13th Battalion, and served as a medic in the battalion.
In March 1996, while serving in the eastern sector in South Lebanon, he was severly injured in an encounter with a terrorist squad, and suffered from a crushed right thigh, partial paralysis of the right leg and a wound to the abdomen.
After a long and intensive rehabilitation, Lahav learned to walk again. At the same time, he also underwent treatments at a pain clinic and post-trauma treatments.
Lahav studied a bachelor's degree in non-formal education and a master's degree in education systems management.
For many years, Lahav worked with youth at risk, out of a desire to reduce the social gaps in Israel, and to help integrate the teenagers into Israeli society.
In recent years Lahav has been working with people with intellectual developmental disabilities.

Lahav’s Life motto:

Believe in yourself, everything is possible.

Lahav Karni

Boris Shtonda

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Sergent First Class Boris was born in 1996 and lives in Petah Tikva.

Boris was born in the Ukraine and made Aliya with his family at the age of 12. He studied at the military boarding school "Kztinei-Yam" in Acre, enlisted in the army and served in Dovedvan, a commando unit. 

 After required army service Boris worked in the Ministry of Defense in the Personal Security Unit and traveled the world. 

 The Iron Swords War found him traveling in Japan, and Boris immediately returned to Israel and enlisted in his commando brigade.

On November 10, Boris was injured by a bomb that was set off at the entrance to a tunnel at a mosque in Beit Hanon. Boris was seriously injured mostly in the pelvis area and intestines and lost one leg.

Boris is recovering and learning to walk with a prosthesis, and insists on being independent and returning to “devour” all life has to offer. 

Boris’s Life motto:

Life is beautiful and we have no right to give up on it

Boris

Assif Avrahami

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Captain  Assif Avrahami was born in 1997, is single and lives in the town of Achisamach in central Israel. 

Assif served in the Egoz unit of the commando brigade, and was team commander of his fighters. He finished his required army service in 2022 and has since been working in security in African countries.

As soon as Assif heard of the events of October 7 he returned home immediately and enlisted together with his soldiers.

After two months of fighting in Gaza, during fierce combat in El Buriej,  a hand grenade went off nearby and his arm was wounded from the shrapnel.

He is still in rehabilitation but expects to resume service soon and fight on the Lebanese front. 

Assif is a skilled artist, specializing in beautiful pencil drawings and wood engravings.

Assif's Life motto:

talk less, do more

Assif
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Leading values 

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Love of Israel – Faith – Gratitude – partnership  

Ahavat Israel - the inner force that drives the program and the wounded of the IDF, who take part in it. Love that does not depend on the people of Israel and its state - "Kol Israel Arevim Ze La-Ze".

 

Faith - "Hope is an act of faith". - Belief in human life, in the life of the nation, in the long-standing Jewish tradition. Belief in the inner strengths of each one breeds optimism and a positive attitude towards life. "Faith is taking the first step even when you do not see the big picture". 

 

Gratitude - Seeing the good as a key component in life. To give thanks for what is and strive to win all the time out of a desire to increase the good in the world. See constantly the half full glass and from it, strive to fill the other half. "Modde Ani" before "Ani Modde". 

 

 Partnership - A worldview in which a person sees himself as taking part in processes and not as standing aside.

A deep understanding that partnering with the talents and abilities which are scattered around the world can lead to greater perfection. "Two are better than one".

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