(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
A ceremony commemorating 85 Israelis from South Africa who fell in Israel's wars took place in the Lavi Forest in northern Israel last week, where the memorial site honoring their memory was rededicated by KKL-JNF and the Zionist Federation of South Africa (Telfed).
“Behind every name on the memorial wall is the life story of someone who fell, and a family that grieves,” said Dave Bloom, Telfed Chairman, at the ceremony. “The connection with KKL-JNF in Israel and in South Africa allows us to salute our sons and daughters. It is in their merit that we are able to realize the Zionist dream. We have come here not only to remember their sacrifices but also to celebrate their lives.”
The memorial site was originally constructed in 1986 in the heart of a forest dedicated to the friendship between South Africa and Israel. The current project involved restoring the remarkable stone monument and memorial wall, with the updated names of the fallen.
The memorial ceremony was emceed by KKL-JNF representative Avinoam Binder, who had been personally involved in the creation of the memorial more than twenty-five years ago. Binder spoke about how all the Jewish communities in South Africa took an interest in the project. In KKL-JNF jargon, said Binder, this area is called “the South African Galilee,” because of the many projects carried out in Israel by friends of KKL-JNF in South Africa, including forests, observation points, playgrounds for children and land improvement for several communities in the vicinity.
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