While Israel mourned the deaths of two American lone soldiers in the Gaza war this week, another Golani Brigade soldier, Baltimore native Jordan Low, was recovering from serious wounds he sustained in battle at The Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus.
Low, a sharpshooter in the IDF who has lived in Israel for about a year and is a 2013 graduate of the Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School in Baltimore, was hospitalized for smoke inhalation after helping soldiers from his 15-man unit escape from a burning building in northern Gaza on Sunday.
The soldiers had been searching for weapons in Gaza when the building was hit by rockets.
On news of his injuries, his Baltimore school’s Facebook page sprang into action, helping to connect alumni to Low’s story and location to show support.
Among other visitors, the lone soldier received a group of well-wishing Beth Tfiloh graduates – with little to no connection to him.
The school’s current students held a public recitation of psalms for his speedy recovery.
During the visit, they brought Jordan words of encouragement, pastries and children’s drawings. However, due to his respiratory injuries, he was not able to talk much and most of the discussion was with his father, Jeffrey Low.
During his short time at his son’s side, Jeffery had been trying to discern the expected treatment plan and navigate the Israeli medical system in a medical culture that while sometimes overlaps with the US also can appear alien at times.
Jeffery had not been there long, having had to switch to an El Al plane after originally boarding the Delta flight that was redirected to France mid-flight.
“He’s my hero,” Jeffrey Low told The Baltimore Sun. “My two boys have learned to think about others before themselves.”
Low and his second son, Joshua, flew to Israel on Monday night. His wife Suzanne died in 2010.
Zipora Schorr, the Beth Tfiloh director of education, said: “The outpouring of support and love for Jordan has been astounding; we are all part of a family, and that’s what families do.”
She added: “We are proud of all of our ‘children,’ graduates who have shown their love for Israel by joining the IDF, by making aliya, by being active members of Klal Yisrael [the people of Israel].”
She said that graduates recognize the importance of a strong Israel and are “willing to put themselves and their lives on the line to prove it.”