Veteran pro-Israel activist Lou Balcher of Langhorn, PA, died on Sunday after a 19-month, hard-fought battle with aggressive bladder cancer at the age of 66.
His funeral will be held Tuesday at Tzfat Cemetery in Israel at 9 p.m. Israel Time.
Balcher was the head of Academic Affairs at the Israeli Consulate in Philadelphia, PA for nearly a decade, in which he brought top Israel speakers to campuses throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware and southern New Jersey.
He also worked tirelessly on developing the organization Young Jewish Leadership Concepts (YJLC), which he and his wife Jocelyne created in 1986 to provide opportunities for Jewish young professionals to form strong community bonds, learn about their Jewish heritage, and build a connection to Israel.
Balcher was recently awarded a plaque from the Consulate General of Israel recognizing his devoted service to the Jewish community and people of Israel over four decades
“A Zionist in every aspect of his life, both personally and professionally, Lou is an educator and role model for the next generation of Jewish communal and organizational leadership, imbuing them with leadership skills, a love and knowledge of Israel and what it means to be a true mensch," the plaque says. "His contribution, devotion, love and concern for the State of Israel and its people over so many years is something that will never be forgotten. Even when the road was not always so easy, Lou has stood up to the challenges faced by him and ensured that future generations of American Jews are inspired to live a life of service to others.”
Israeli basketball legend and veteran Israel advocate Tal Brody said Monday night: "Lou loved Israel and its people and was a positive person with a positive spirit who always kept smiling. He was amazing. "
Lou was survived by his devoted wife, Jocelyne, and sons, Daveed and Alex, who were constantly at his side in the last months of his life. He was a proud husband and father who always made his love and pride for his family known to anyone who would listen.
The Cleveland-born Balcher was also survived by his sisters and brothers, Shari Weiss, Connie Inukai, Aharon Botzer, Chuck Balcher, and Judah Botzer.
In lieu of flowers, Lou’s family asks that donations be sent in his memory to the American Foundation Creating Leadership for Israel (AFCLI), an organization that Lou founded in Spring 2021, in order to continue Lou’s mission to improve American relationships with Israel. For more information, please see AFCLI.org.