On May 9, 2017, Israeli generals, Defense Ministry representatives, and representatives from Yad LaBanim (Defense Ministry organization that helps families of Israel’s fallen soldiers) will come to Los Angeles to brief politicians and Jewish community leaders on the increasing threats to Israel’s security and what needs to be done to prepare for the next war with Hamas and Hezbollah.The delegation will include Israel’s Medal of Valor Recipient Brig.Gen Avigdor Kahalani and Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan (responsible for Judea and Samaria). They will hold private meetings with Los Angeles community leaders and hold an open forum at the Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance (9786 West Pico Blvd, Los Angeles) to brief members of the US Jewish communities about the Iran threat facing Israel, what needs to be done to help prepare for a potential war, and to discuss the needs of families of Israel's serving and fallen soldiers.The situation in Israel is terrifying for parents of currently serving IDF soldiers and the bereaved families of Israel’s fallen soldiers. There is unrest about Iran and potential attacks from Hamas and Hezbollah. A Knesset subcommittee opened an investigation into Israel's preparedness after 2014's Operation Protective Edge (as was done after the Yom Kippur War). Bereaved families of Israel’s fallen soldiers were disrespected by Knesset members. As Israel faces what people believe is an impending war against Hamas and Hezbollah, American Jewish commuaities need to have facts – not propaganda or rhetoric.
Few people outside Israel know about Yad LaBanim or its important, critical work. Few people in the US are aware that currently over 1,000 young American men and women serve in the IDF as lone soldiers. Few people in the US are aware of the more than 58 terror attacks in Israel, France and Turkey since 2014, over 152 men, women and children were killed — including 68 soldiers in Operation Protective Edge. For that reason, the Jewish Heritage Foundation is bringing this delegation to the US so that the Jewish world outside of Israel can be informed and ready to help.“Yad LaBanim is honored to accept the invitation to the United States and to help inform the Jewish Communities about the current crisis and what is needed”, said Eli Ben Shem, chairman of Yad LaBanim.“As parents of a lone soldier killed in Operation Protective Edge, this delegation will help US Jewish communities understand what we went through and what must be done for IDF lone soldiers and families of fallen soldiers”, said Stuart and Evie Steinberg, parents of Max Steinberg, killed in Operation Protective Edge.