Community remembrance for fallen soldiers held at the Berman Theater to honor 23,741 soldiers and 3,150 victims.
By Bosmat Dovas
A community commemoration for Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, was held May 7 at the Berman Theater at the Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield with about 400 attending.
This year, 23,741 soldiers were remembered for their sacrifice in defending the State of Israel as well as 3,150 victims of terror in Israel.
Hazzan Daniel Gross of Adat Shalom Synagogue and Rabbi Shalom Kantor of Congregation B’nai Moshe chanted prayers for the soldiers of Israel. American and Israeli community members read selected poems, and Avital Granot, accompanied by pianist Linda Permut, both of Huntington Woods, sang two Hebrew songs.
The Yom Hazikaron ceremony featured two guest speakers, Chief Sgt. Omri Ohayon from Herzliya, a guest of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit and the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces, and Roz Ohayon from Nazareth Ilit, Detroit’s partnership region in Israel, a Federation guest.
Omri, now a student at Yeshiva University in New York, spoke about his experience during the 2014 Gaza war. Just two hours after the war began, Omri lost a close friend from home, Eitan Barak and, by the week’s end, he lost another friend, Gal Bason, from his special commando unit. Omri’s unit was responsible for destroying 11 of the 32 terror tunnels dug by Hamas in Gaza. After the war, Omri became a paramedic and served on the Syrian border treating refugees from the Syrian civil war.
Roz Ohayon paid tribute to her late husband, Hanan Ohayon, the father of her two children who attend Tamarack Camps from the partnership region. Hanan served in the Israeli Prison Service when his unit was called to fight the devastating 2010 Carmel Fire. Hanan died while fighting the fire, along with 43 others. In her husband’s memory, Roz joined the Israeli Prison Service to continue his legacy and has served since.
The Hillel Day School Choir concluded the ceremony with singing of the American and Israeli national anthems.