Honorees for Independence Day

Two Holocaust survivors & a Druze prisons service social worker will join little Moishe Holtzberg in lighting this year's Independence Day torches.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu , | updated: 1:11 AM

Independence Day ceremony
Independence Day ceremony
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Two Holocaust survivors and a Druze prisons service social worker will join Mumbai massacre terror survivor Moishe Holtzberg in lighting this year's Independence Day torches next month.

The theme of this year’s ceremony is “Looking after One Another – the Year of Mutual Care,” and the traditional torch lighting will take place on May 9 at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.

The naming of four-year old Moishe Holtzberg as torch-lighter, accompanied by his grandfather, was reported by Israel National News two days ago. His parents, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka, were among six people murdered at the Chabad House massacre, part of an attack on two hotels where more than 150 people were murdered by Muslim terrorists.

The Holocaust survivors to light the torches are Michael Goldman and former Knesset Member Matityahu Droblas, who immigrated from Argentina and served as head of the Jewish Agency's Settlement Department. Goldman’s survival story inspired a movie. He also served as a police officer at the Eichmann trial.

Other torchlight honorees, named by  Minister of Tourism Stas Misezhnikov, chairman of the Ministerial Committee for Ceremonies, are:

  • Saar Shapiro, a Haifa student who learned with Elad Riven, a volunteer firefighter who died in the Carmel forest fire disaster last last year;
  • Orit Dror of Kibbutz Lavi, who, together with her husband, saved the life of a 13-year-old girl by donating the organs of their son, who died of a terminal disease;
  • Zehava Dankner, mother of billionaire and philanthropist Nochi Dankner, who has funded projects and activities for people living in the Gaza Belt communities under a decade of rocket and mortar fire from Hamas terrorists;
  • Barbra Goldstein, a member of the Hadassah Women's Zionist organization, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year;
  • Yovi Tsuma, a social activist and volunteer in a group of young Ethiopians who help the community;
  • Arij Aarachab , a Druze Prison Services social worker;
  • Omar Bar-Lev, chairman of a volunteer group called “Youth Leading Change;”  
  • Gadi Bashari , who founded “Sweetheart,” which funds activities for soldiers, disabled children and new immigrants; and
  • Dr. Ze’ev Dashevsky, who heads an organization for teaching Jewish culture to Zionist immigrants.