Our Programs

US Tours of Happiness

A Tour of

While American 18+ year-olds are safely away at colleges across the US making memories to last a lifetime, the young men and women of the IDF are serving on the front lines, risking their life and limb to ensure the safety of the Holy Land and the Jewish people. The injuries sustained by these young soldiers during their years of service forever changes the course of their lives. We are deeply indebted to these courageous heroes.

Each year, Belev Echad hosts groups of these wounded warriors as a small gesture of gratitude to the men and women to whom we owe so much. Our ten day tour of NYC provides respite for the body and psyche through visits to classic city sites, shows, sporting events, and community activities that heal the spirit and soul, creating memories and friendships that last a lifetime.

"I want to thank you very much for all of the amazing experiences I had over the last 10 days, it’s incomprehensible to me... We received from you and Belev Echad, treatment which was above and beyond what was necessary. You made all of our dreams come true and you are a man of gold with a great heart...I love you very much and we will meet again soon."

Meet the soldiers of
the May '23 NYC tour!

  • Omar Harel
    Omar Harel
    Age 37
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    Omar Harel, 37

    Unit: Tank Commander

    When the Second Lebanon War broke out in 2006, Omar served as a tank commander and was sent with his battalion deep into Lebanon. During the fighting, Omar witnessed harrowing sights, including the death of one of his soldiers, who was hit by an anti-tank missile in front of him, and the loss of a crew, including his MP and four other fighters, in another tank in the battalion, due to enemy fire. After the war, Omar was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to the intense stress he experienced during the conflict. Omar underwent a lengthy rehabilitation process to learn how to live with his disability and limitations and lead an independent life.

  • Ido Lapid
    Ido Lapid
    Age 30
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    Ido Lapid, 30

    Unit: Company A, 53rd Battalion, 188th Brigade

    Ido enlisted in November 2011 and completed the tank commanders’ course. Operation Tzuk Eitan broke out during his service, and Ido’s company was sent to Gaza. During the war, Ido was injured by a mortar bomb explosion. He underwent two surgeries and rehabilitation and returned to complete his regular service. Following his service, Ido faced several difficulties and struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder. He pursued higher education and earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Ben Gurion University. He now works as a nurse at Soroka Hospital while studying for a master’s degree in nursing.

  • Tal Deutsch
    Tal Deutsch
    Age 31
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    Tal Deutsch, 31

    Unit: Falhan Paratroopers
  • Tal Ohana
    Tal Ohana
    Age 30
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    Tal Ohana, 30

    Unit: Golani Brigade

    Tal Ohana served in the Golani Brigade during Operation Tzuk Eitan.  On the third night of the Operation, Tal found himself amid a harrowing combat situation. As part of an infantry force tasked with raiding a building labeled a Hamas operatives’ stronghold, Tal’s unit was advancing towards its destination when tragedy struck. A charge planted in advance detonated under their feet, injuring Tal and killing two of his friends instantly. In addition to hearing loss in his left ear, Tal suffered three disc herniations in his lower back and injuries to his head. Despite the chaos and danger surrounding them, Tal’s unit persevered, fighting back against massive gunfire and providing medical assistance to those in need. The bravery and determination of Tal and his fellow soldiers allowed them to withdraw to safety, despite being under heavy fire. However, the battle was far from over. Three days after the initial incident, Tal’s unit prepared to bomb the infamous Unra hospital, which was being used as a missile factory. During the operation, Tal was injured by a blast and fell from the third floor of a nearby building to the first floor. He was then evacuated and treated for his injuries. 

  • Yaron Mirkov
    Yaron Mirkov
    Age 35
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    Yaron Mirkov, 35

    Unit: Gedsar 585

    Yaron served in Gaza for five years as a liaison officer for his battalion. During Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012, Yaron sustained injuries due to rocket fire in his battalion’s deployed area. Despite his own injuries, Yaron helped evacuate other wounded personnel and witnessed some of the traumatic experiences of his fellow soldiers. Following the end of the operation, Yaron resumed his duties in the battalion until his release. He then transferred to the combat response unit, where he served for several years until he was recognized by the rehabilitation department. Currently, Yaron is unemployed and is undergoing self-rehabilitation in search of a meaningful path forward.

  • Itamar Glazer
    Itamar Glazer
    Age 31
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    Itamar Glazer, 31

    Unit: River Patrol

    Itamar Glazer served as a sniper in the elite Sayeret Nahal special forces unit. During Operation Tzuk Eitan, Itamar’s unit was deployed to the Beit Hanoun neighborhood in Gaza, where he experienced intense combat firsthand. On July 25, three missiles hit the house where Itamar was located, tragically resulting in the death of his friend Roy Peles and causing Itamar to suffer a severe knee injury that required airlifting to the hospital and an extensive recovery process. Years later, Itamar was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to the trauma he experienced. The Ministry of Defense has recognized both his leg injury and his PTSD.

  • David Axel Melnizky
    Age 26
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    David Axel Melnizky, 26

    Unit: Border Patrol - Staff Sergeant
    Date of Injury: 8-28-2015

    While patrolling the area of Sha’ar Shchem in Jerusalem, David was attacked from behind by a terrorist. At first he did not see a weapon in the terrorist’s hand so he fought back without a weapon, using only his hands. The struggle escalated and the terrorist tried to run away. David chased him along with other unit members who witnessed the fight. They had used pepper spray and at that point David was stabbed in his leg by the terrorist. Afterwards he was taken to Hadasa hospital for treatment.

  • Aviv Luzia
    Aviv Luzia
    Age 35
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    Aviv Luzia, 35

    Unit: Border Patrol

    Aviv Luzia enlisted in the Border Guard in 2006, which began with rigorous training and intense combat preparation. During his service, the Second Lebanon War erupted, thrusting Aviv and his team into the thick of battle along the southern front lines. From there, he was stationed in Ramallah. Additionally, Aviv was stationed in the Hebron sector and, for a brief period, patrolled the Western Wall area in Jerusalem. Throughout his army service, Aviv experienced harrowing incidents, including shootings, attempted stabbings, and other acts of violence. In 2008, a fellow member of Aviv’s unit tragically took his own life mere inches away from him, an event that deeply impacted Aviv.  The cumulative effect of these traumatic experiences took a heavy toll on Aviv, leaving him grappling with the emotional and psychological scars of his service. After completing his tour of duty, he transferred to the rehabilitation department, where he began the process of healing and recovery.