On Sunday August 5th, a group of 10 Israeli veterans arrived in Toronto. The veterans belong to a group called “Achim LaChaim” or Brothers for Life, an organization that helps and supports veterans who got injured in combat during their service in the IDF.

The purpose of this Toronto trip was to take the wounded veterans out of their everyday life and the reality of rehab and therapy and bring them to Canada for 10 days filled of not only fun and relaxation but also community outreach and support.

 

During their 3rd day in Toronto, the veterans visited Camp Shalom, an overnight camp for young Jewish children, where the veterans were greeted with a warm welcome that included signs, cards and letters from the children. Throughout the day, the group took part in traditional camp activities, had lunch with the campers and answered questions during an intimate Q and A session with the older campers.

The delegation from Israel also indulged in typical Canadian activities that they would never have the chance to experience in Israel, such as ice skating, Rogers Cup Tennis, traditional Muskoka cottage stay and, of course, a visit to Niagara Falls.

A big part of their trip was to give back to the community. The Israeli heroes had a chance to meet holocaust survivors in a very intimate setting, where they got to hear incredible stories of survival and share their very own. Both the Israeli veterans and holocaust survivors were touched by this meeting.

Later in the week, the group of heroes had a chance to meet veterans from the Canadian Armed Forces at the Beth David Synagogue. They exchanged their experiences as wounded veterans and learned about some of the differences between the Canadian and Israeli armies. They were mutually inspired by each other’s stories and made a connection that would last for life.

Towards the end of their delegation, JNF Toronto hosted a wonderful evening at the Pour House for a chance for the community to have a meet & greet with the veterans. The evening was a great success and inspired many members of our community.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful donors who hosted the veterans and spared no expense to make sure that their time here was unforgettable.

We also thank all the members of our community, our staff and our friends for helping us in creating such a wonderful program.

 

If you are interested in learning more about BFL, please contact the JNF Toronto office.

 

2018-08-14 Yasmin Lasry