First Druze Jewish Agency envoy to the US spoke about Israel's fallen soldiers

Kamal Mreeh - the first senior Druze envoy of the Jewish Agency - spoke about the unique relationship between the Druze and Jewish populations in Israel.

 First Druze Jewish Agency envoy to the US spoke about Israel's fallen soldiers. (photo credit: MARIANA EDELMAN/JFNA)
First Druze Jewish Agency envoy to the US spoke about Israel's fallen soldiers.
(photo credit: MARIANA EDELMAN/JFNA)

About 1,200 Jews from across North America gathered together to commemorate Yom Hazikaron in Cleveland, Ohio at “JPro22: Going Places Together, in partnership with Jewish Federations of North America,” a conference for Jewish communal professionals from around North America. 

Senior Shlicha to Washington DC of the Jewish Agency for Israel Gadeer Kamal Mreeh - the first senior Druze envoy of the Jewish Agency - spoke about the unique relationship between the Druze and Jewish populations in Israel and the deep commitment of her community to the defense of the country.

“I believe that today more than ever, our fallen soldiers want us to live together, not just to die together. They want us to see the beauty and to face the complexity," said Mreeh. "They want us to build a better future together and strengthen our social resilience, shared society and our Israeli identity. They want us to seek unity, close the gap, create bridges and build trust. They want us to talk with each other, not about each other.”

On Wednesday morning, a group of conference-goers will take part in a “Ratzim Lezichram” run to commemorate Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror attacks. The run is being organized by conference participants from Israel.

Itay Margalit, Community Shaliach of the Jewish Agency for Israel at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, will speak about memory and the experience of Yom Hazikaron in Israel. Participants will also have the option to read stories of Israelis who were killed during service before they begin the run.

 PRESIDENT ISAAC HERZOG with Druze spiritual leader Mowafaq Tarif (credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO) PRESIDENT ISAAC HERZOG with Druze spiritual leader Mowafaq Tarif (credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)

“Ratzim Lezichram’ is a special way of connecting Jews outside of Israel with Israel, by giving them a glimpse into the lives of Israelis who gave their lives in defense of the Jewish homeland,” he said.

“Ratzim Lezichram” is an initiative that began five years ago in Israel. Groups of Israelis from across the country walk or run in memory of a fallen soldier and learn about his or her life. The Jewish Federation of Cleveland organized the first “Ratzim Lezichram” event outside Israel four years ago. This will be the first time that individuals from across North America will come together to participate in “Ratzim Lezichram.”

“We must never take for granted the sacrifice our brothers and sisters have made in defense of the State of Israel, and so that Jews around the world can walk with our heads held high,” said Mark Wilf, Board of Trustees Chair of the Jewish Federations of North America. “We honor the memory of fallen soldiers of the IDF and victims of terror, and are also empowered by the miracles of the Jewish State and its contributions to humanity.”