Bringing the Fallen to Life on Memorial Day

One of the leaders of a new initiative tells Arutz Sheva about the films and tours that are giving Memorial Day a message of faith.

Benny Toker, Ari Yashar ,

Ceremony for fallen soldiers (file)
Ceremony for fallen soldiers (file)
Flash 90

Adi Avini, deputy director of the NGO "Religious Zionist Enterprises," spoke to Arutz Sheva ahead of Israeli Memorial Day beginning Wednesday night about a new initiative, which has been revolutionizing Memorial Day ceremonies nationwide in recent years.

The initiative, called "In Their Courage," is led by Avini's NGO along with "Eshkolot," a forum of tour centers focused on Israeli consciousness, as well as "Zehut," a union of centers focusing on Jewish identity.

"In Their Courage" seeks to revive Memorial Day ceremonies and make them more tangible, with tours being held following the traces of fallen soldiers, as well as meetings with wounded IDF soldiers and bereaved families.

"It's important to us that beyond slides and speakers at ceremonies, that the public doesn't just sink into tears but rather that it comes out with a message of hope and faith," said Avini.

In order to achieve that goal, he said "we held investigations and from it we produced movies, like the film 'To the Land of the Deer,' which brings together the widow of Roy Klein with the family members of Yoni Netanyahu; the prime minister (Binyamin Netanyahu, Yoni's brother - ed.) also sent a message."

"The message is that even in our days there is an incredible youth (generation - ed.) that is ready for self sacrifice," said Avini.

The NGO deputy director also spoke about another short film, "Children of Dagan," which is about Dagan Vartman, a religious Zionist soldier who was killed before having children - today, 80 children in Israel are named after Vartman.

Avini said in the film "we had them all meet, they make up the continuation of what he (Vartman) represented."

"The ceremonies with these programs are screened around the country including in religious cities, haredi (ones) and secular (ones)," he said. "This is the second year in which, for example, there's a ceremony in Elad that hundreds of people are coming to. We made a connection of the entire Israeli society, so that this dialogue about religious Zionism will speak to the entire population."



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