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Yom Hazikaron and Yom Haatzmaut

Our students experienced the powerful connection between Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael throughout the this most memorable week.

We began our commemoration of Yom Hazikaron with a multi media video presentation and discussion. Following the video clips, our mechanchot  led their groups in thoughtful discussions, reflecting on the themes of sacrifice and commitment. That same afternoon, we toured Har Herzl, the National Military Cemetery. Rav Wexler led the students to various locations and educated them about the lives and deaths of the special people buried in this famous cemetery.  On Tuesday, we were privileged to host Eden Adler, star of the award winning film, "Beneath the Helmet"  who gave a most inspiring talk after an exclusive showing of the film at Amit. Eden's passion for protecting our country was an inspiration to all of us. A special thank you to the Golish family for sponsoring this event which was most fitting as we prepared for Yom Hazikaron. On Wednesday evening we joined with thousands students at Latrun (headquarters of the tank division of the IDF),for a special emotional program in memory of the chayalim who have died protecting our country. This Thursday morning we participated in a ceremony at the Kfar Etzion cemetery where we heard speeches by government and military officials, as well as family members of Israeli soldiers who have been killed in action. This moving experience - highlighted by the siren and the national moment of silence - gave our students a better appreciation for what it means to be a part of the Jewish people. After the ceremony, Rabbi Goldstein led the students through the cemetery, stopping at various graves of soldiers and victims of terror, such as Koby Mandel and other heroes of the Gush Etzion area. Later in the day many students chose to go back and visit Har Herzl, to further pay their respects to the modern heroes of our people.

The transition from the sadness of Yom Hazikaron to the joy of Yom Ha'atzmaut was felt by all on our trip to Chashmonaim, a yishuv located near Modiin. We celebrated with the members of the Yishuv through songs, special "daglanut" (flag dances) a street fair, dancing and fireworks. We were hosted by Mrs. Chana Spiegleman and her family for dinner and were inspired by her personal – and emotional - reflections on life as a mother of twin sons who are currently serving in the IDF. Yom Ha'atzmaut is a celebration of the modern state of Israel and in order to enhance our appreciation of our land, it is customary to take "tiyulim" (trips) to places all over the country.  We celebrated "Israeli Style" with a challenging hike followed by a fantastic BBQ ("American Style") at Mrs. Gottlieb's home.