we stand beside our soldiers

Standing behind
our soldiers

Belev Echad is an international initiative dedicated to easing this transition through a system of support that empowers each veteran to live a life without limits. We adopt each wounded veteran and assume the roles of mentor, advocate and friend, guiding them through critical medical, educational and professional decisions and celebrating life’s milestones big and small.

Since the founding of the State of Israel, hundreds of thousands of young Jewish men and women have risked their lives and limbs to protect the Jewish people and ensure the security of the Jewish Homeland. Many of these soldiers sustain physical injuries and even more are left with emotional scars that can be equally debilitating.

Founded in 2009 by Rabbi Uriel Vigler and his wife Shevy, Belev Echad began as an annual tour of New York City, as a gesture of solidarity and support for wounded warriors of the IDF. What started off as a local initiative of the New York Upper East Side Jewish community has now become a global movement dedicated to helping veterans of the IDF reintegrate into civilian life with the love and support they need to thrive.

We are now an essential part of healing, growing beyond just a vibrant community to a close-knit family. Together, we celebrate birthdays, marriages and births, provide resources and support through the big decisions, and show up when times are tough. These courageous young men and women have risked life and limb for the safety of the Jewish Homeland. Our work with these wounded veterans shows our solidarity and gratitude for their enormous sacrifice.

What Shevy and Rabbi
Vigler have done is
incredible, and we are
forever in debt to our
soldiers and what they
have done for us.
KIMBERLY
help-hero

Founders and Directors

  • Rabbi Uriel Vigler
  • Mrs. Shevy Vigler

Board of Directors

  • Daniel S. Bernstein
  • Yossi Nasser
  • Yaara Bank-Plotkin
  • Philip Silverman
  • Shay Zach
  • Richard Miller
  • Martin Nussbaum
  • Eliana Tisch

Our Team

  • Doron Akiva
    Martial Arts Coordinator (Belev Echad alumni)
  • Aviv Bar
    Media Coordinator (Belev Echad Alumni)
  • Gil Benedek
    Campus Program Coordinator (Belev Echad Alumni)
  • Raz Budani
    Co-Director of Programs
    Israel
    Major in the Golani Brigade, 2009
  • Shai Chiti
    Housing Coordinator (Belev Echad Alumni)
  • Eran Klier
    Couples Coordinator
    Chief Sergeant in the Airforce, Injured in 2018 (Belev Echad Alumni)
  • Orel Menachem
    Dog Program Coordinator
  • Ido Ozeri
    Hospital Visitation Coordinator
    Corporal in the Armored Corps, Injured in 2014 (Belev Echad Alumni)
  • Or Porat
    Mentor Program Coordinator (Belev Echad Alumni)
  • Bentzi Sasson
    Director of
    Delegation Operations
  • Sharon & Miki Shtrachman
    Co-Director of Programs
    Israel

There are over 50,000 wounded
IDF soldiers in need of our help.

Our Soldiers

  • Ido Mordechay
    Age 26
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    Ido Mordechay, 26

    Unit: Golani Gdud 51
    Date of Injury: 7/20/14

    Ido joined the Golani Brigade and then took a naval course. During the 2014 Gaza war, Ido was part of a unit that went into the Sajaiya neighborhood in Gaza and fought Hamas terrorists. Following the war, he completed his military service. Since fighting in the Gaza war in 2014, Ido has been experiencing post-traumatic symptoms that have only intensified over the years. During Covid, the economic and mental stress exacerbated his PTSD, with new symptoms appearing, including intense flashbacks, strange hallucinations, nightmares, screams, and many sleepless nights.

  • Omer Shalom
    Age 21
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    Omer Shalom, 21

    Unit: Totchanim
    Date of Injury: 5/5/19

    Omer was on a commander’s course in the 55th Battalion and was deployed a few kilometers from the Gaza border. Together with another soldier, he was on guard a hundred meters away from the rest of the company, and a rocket exploded right next to them. Tal was evacuated by helicopter to Soroka straight into the operating room. After three weeks and six surgeries in hospital, he entered Tel Hashomer for 6 weeks of rehabilitation. Omer is still left with injuries to his legs, including a nerve problem in his foot, which has resulted in a drop foot.

  • Tal Achdari
    Age 27
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    Tal Achdari, 27

    Unit: Nachal
    Date of Injury: 7/25/14

    Tal served as a combat medic during the 2014 Gaza War. There was an incident, and Tal treated a member of the battalion who was severely injured. Unfortunately, the soldier did not survive. Tal was extremely traumatized by the experience and suffers from severe PTSD until today.

  • Dvir Dahan
    Age 23
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    Dvir Dahan, 23

    Unit: Ramallah
    Date of Injury: 9/8/18

    Dvir served as part of the brigade commander’s staff at an undercover base in Ramallah. This base provided an initial response to every incident and did many different activities. While on a very sensitive operation in Qalandiya (close to Ramallah), on foot to destroy Hamas operatives, there were serious disturbances including stones, rocks, and grenades that were being thrown. Dvir was hit in his palm by shrapnel and was not able to treat the injury at that time. For hours, Dvir was left with a broken hand, with rocks and glass inside. Only after hours, and returning on foot down the mountain was he brought for medical treatment. Dvir is currently receiving therapy for his hand, but he does not have full use and strength in his hand, due to his injuries.

  • Niv Losky
    Age 28
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    Niv Losky, 28

    Unit: Shiryon
    Date of Injury: 7/15/14

    Niv completed a course and course for tank commanders in Shizafon, training in the Golan, and served in Judea and Samaria and on the borders of Egypt, Jordan, and Gaza. During his service, he fought for 3 weeks in the 2014 Gaza War, which left him with severe PTSD. Niv is receiving treatment to address the PTSD and is working hard to move past the trauma of the war.

  • Nathan Lavi Asayag
    Age 28
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    Nathan Lavi Asayag, 28

    Unit: Chativat Hanachal
    Date of Injury: 2/8/13

    Nathan served as a paramedic. During the 2014 Gaza war, he was often called upon in life-threatening situations to help with the wounded. He is so thankful that he was not physically wounded, but unfortunately the trauma of the war, and trying to help the injured left a deep scar on his heart, and he is left with severe PTSD, which he is still treating to this day.

  • Avraham Birsaw
    Age 34
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    Avraham Birsaw, 34

    Unit: Golani Brigade, Staff Sergeant
    Date of Injury: Nov 13, 2008

    During operational activity inside the Gaza strip to uncover underground tunnels, Avraham was shot in his left leg. He underwent multiple surgeries in Soroka hospital and continued onto a long rehabilitation in Rambam hospital.   He is still being treated by a psychologist and psychiatrist, as well as taking physiotherapy.  

  • Yair Fellous
    Age 28
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    Yair Fellous, 28

    Unit: Golani Brigade, Staff Sergeant
    Date of Injury: July 20, 2014

    During the Israel – Gaza conflict of 2014, Yair and his unit entered Shejaiya district in Gaza and were on a look-out to catch 9 terrorists who were trying to enter Israel through underground tunnels. They were ambushed and his close friend bled out and had died in Yair’s arms. He held his friend’s body for 15 hours until they got back to Israel. Since then his life has completely changed and he suffers from PTSD.    

Who We Are

“A person that is deprived of a limb or a
faculty this itself indicates that G-d has given
him special powers to overcome the limitations
this entails, and to surpass the achievements
of ordinary people. You are not ‘disabled’ or
‘handicapped,’ but special and unique, as you
possess potentials that the rest of us do not.”

The Lubavitcher Rebbe
RABBI MENACHEM M. SCHNEERSON
SPEAKING TO WOUNDED IDF VETERANS