White Plains—On Tuesday evening, December 6, nearly 200 people joined the Westchester Jewish Council to celebrate “Honor Week” in recognition of those who have given of themselves in order to protect the State of Israel, and to welcome the Consul General of Israel in NY, Ambassador Dani Dayan, to Westchester. The program took place at the Jewish Community Center of Harrison.
Ambassador Dayan shared the story of his family’s emigration to Israel and spoke of his support for the Westchester Jewish community. Gil Revivo, an Israeli soldier who was wounded six times over the course of his 18 years of service in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), shared his powerful and inspiring story of personal struggle with, and will to survive the effects of, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), the most severe of his wounds.
The program was part of a week-long program of “Honor Days,” which brought a delegation of wounded Israeli soldiers to the US to share their stories of sacrifice, survival and hope. The delegation was organized by Zehut, an Israeli educational organization that works primarily with schools to educate students about Jewish identity and values. As part their vision, Zehut organized the delegation as a way to bring “Honor Day” to the diaspora. Over the course of the week, the soldiers met with hundreds of students at Carmel Academy, Westchester Day School and Westchester Torah Academy, as well as adult and teen congregants at Pelham Jewish Center, Shaarei Tikvah, Young Israel of Scarsdale and Young Israel of White Plains.
The event was organized by the shlicha of Westchester, Oshra Rosenberg, who serves as a broad community resource in developing and institutionalizing Israel programming and awareness through education and engagement. The event was co-sponsored by Carmel Academy, Pelham Jewish Center, Shaarei Tikvah, UJA-Federation of NY, Westchester Day School, Westchester Jewish Council, Westchester Torah Academy, Young Israel of New Rochelle and Young Israel of Scarsdale. The event began with an exhibition of 25 Westchester Jewish Council member synagogues and organizations.
“This was one of the most emotional and inspiring Israel events I have ever attended. Gil Revivo’s story, and the stories of his fellow soldiers, brought to life what IDF soldiers endure to defend the State of Israel. It was a deeply moving night and I am thankful that the stories of these heroes of Israel could be shared with the community,” said Elliot Forchheimer, Executive Director, Westchester Jewish Council.
The Westchester Jewish Council, a beneficiary of UJA-Federation of New York, connects Westchester’s Jewish communities and strengthens relationships among Jewish organizations and other ethnic and faith-based groups, elected officials and the community at large. For more information, visit www.wjcouncil.org, or call 914-328-7001.