At a delicious breakfast on the Upper East Side, Dvir shared some thoughts with the group. He told us that, as we know, Israel is completely surrounded by enemies who would like nothing more than to do destroy the country and its people, leaving no choice but to fight for our survival. When he sees how people in New York genuinely love and care for him and his fellow soldiers, he said, it gives them the strength and stamina to continue.
Amit explained that the IDF is such a moral army—the incident in which he was injured only happened because they were trying not to harm Arab civilians. This allowed Hamas to ambush them. Two of his best friends were killed and he was wounded.
We headed over to the Alef Bet preschool where the children were waiting to greet our guests. They had prepared songs, cookies and cards for the soldiers. The soldiers were so touched by their performance. This is who they fight for—the future of Am Yisrael.
From there we drove out to Jersey Gardens mall for a full day of shopping. Members of the Chabad Israel Center community gave the soldiers gift cards and they came back loaded up with all kinds of goodies. Shop till you drop? That’s exactly what we did!
We ended the day with an intimate kumzits where members of the community had a chance to get to know the soldiers in a relaxed environment. Daniel Fish shared his story. He served in the Maglan unit and a few of his closest friends were killed in the incident which wounded him. The evening ended with a spontaneous, lively rendition of “Am Yisrael Chai.”