Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Become a member
Site Search
JReleases: JReleases

LONE SOLDIER CENTER marks 10th Yahrzeit of Michael Levin, z”l, by establishing U.S.-based Charitable

Tuesday, August 2, 2016   (0 Comments)
Share |



LONE SOLDIER CENTER marks 10th Yahrzeit of Michael Levin, z”l, by establishing U.S.-based Charitable Organization

New York, N.Y.,August 3, 2016 - In commemoration of the 10th yahrzeit of Michael Levin on the seventh of Av (August 11, 2016), U.S. Supporters of The Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin today announced its establishment as a United States-based 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to the same mission as its sister organization in Israel, The Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin. The Lone Soldier Center supports Lone Soldiers before, during and after their service in the Israel Defense Force (“IDF”).


Brian R. Lurie, President of U.S. Supporters of The Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin, noted “It is hard to imagine a greater manifestation of love for Israel than that exhibited by the young adults from the Diaspora who quickly transform from boys and girls to soldiers, by enlisting in the IDF. They become a ‘Lone Soldier’ – a soldier in the IDF with no immediate family in Israel to support them.”

Harriet Levin, Michael’s mother, stated “Michael made aliyah from our home in the Philadelphia area in 2002 and joined the IDF; shortly thereafter he was selected for the Paratrooper Division, having met its extremely rigorous requirements. In the summer of 2006, Michael was given leave to visit us at home. Two weeks into his trip, war broke out on Israel’s northern border when Hezbollah ambushed an IDF patrol, killing five reservists and kidnapping Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. When Israeli forces crossed the border to attempt a rescue, Hezbollah began its assault on Israel by launching thousands of rockets at the communities of the north.”

Mark Levin, Michael’s father, continued, “Michael immediately cut short his vacation and flew back to Israel. His unit was sent to the Hezbollah stronghold of Aita al-Shaab, the village where the two soldiers had been kidnapped two weeks earlier. On August 1, 2006, Michael’s unit moved forward, engaging in a fierce battle with Hezbollah forces. Our beloved son was killed in the line of duty fighting for the country he loved. He was 22 years old.”

Josh Flaster, National Director of the Israel organization stated, “The Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin was founded in Israel in 2009 by a group of Michael’s family and friends – including a number of former Lone Soldiers – who were inspired by Michael’s dream of building a center in Israel to address the physical and social needs and struggles of fellow Lone Soldiers. The Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin currently operates throughout Israel, with centers in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Kibbutz Gesher in northern Israel. Because approximately 80% of the financial support for our activities in Israel comes from the United States, we are thrilled by the establishment of a U.S.-based 501(c)(3).”

Brian R. Lurie concluded, “As we approach the 10th anniversary of Michael’s passing, we are proud to establish a U.S.-based charitable organization in his memory, to provide crucial support to the young men and women serving in the IDF as Lone Soldiers.”

A publication ready article on Michael Levin and the U.S. and Israel Lone Soldier Center organizations established in his memory follows below.

To learn more about Michael and his inspiring story, visit A HERO IN HEAVEN at:www.aheroinheaven.com.

For more information on Lone Soldiers, please visit the website of our sister organization in Israel: www.LoneSoldierCenter.com.

Publication ready article:

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) defines a “Lone Soldier” as someone serving in the Israeli military without the benefit of any local family support. Today, there are currently more than 6,300 Lone Soldiers serving in the IDF. Most are volunteers who came to Israel to join the IDF, like Michael Levin before them.

Michael grew up in a traditional, loving Jewish home near Philadelphia in Bucks County, Pennsylvania with his mom and dad, Harriet and Mark Levin, his older sister Elisa and his twin sister Dara. He was active in USY and attended Camp Ramah in the Poconos. In February of 2001, Michael went to Israel for two months and attended the Alexander Muss High School program. After graduating high school, he attended the NATIV USY yearlong program in Israel. In 2002, at just 19 years old, Michael immigrated to Israel and joined the IDF, becoming a Lone Soldier.

Michael volunteered to join an elite Paratroopers Brigade that formed part of the IDF’s Infantry Corps. Service in the Paratroopers is voluntary and is subject to an intense selection process that includes tests of physical fitness and leadership skills. Less than 20% of those who volunteer for the Brigade are accepted. Michael met the rigorous requirements and began an eight month training regimen that culminated in a 90 kilometer march in full gear, at the end of which he received his red beret signifying the end of his training and full admission to the active forces of the Paratrooper’s Brigade. In less than a year, Michael rose to the rank of First Sergeant, with aspirations of becoming an IDF career officer.

As Michael’s mom Harriet explains, “In the summer of 2006, he was given leave to visit his family back home in Pennsylvania. Two weeks into his trip, war broke out on Israel’s northern border when Hezbollah ambushed an IDF patrol, killing five reservists and kidnapping Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. When Israeli forces crossed the border to attempt a rescue, Hezbollah began an assault on Israel by launching thousands of rockets at the communities of the north.”

Michael’s dad Mark continued, “Michael immediately cut short his vacation and flew back to Israel. His unit was sent to the Hezbollah stronghold of Aita al-Shaab, the village where the two soldiers had been kidnapped two weeks earlier. On August 1, 2006, Michael’s unit moved forward, engaging in a fierce battle with Hezbollah forces. Michael was killed in the line of duty fighting for the country he loved. He was 22 years old.”

On Tisha B’Av, Michael was laid to rest at Mount Herzl Cemetery. His family was joined by thousands of people from all over Israel who came to pay tribute to his memory and heroism.

According to Josh Flaster, “The Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin was founded in Israel in 2009 by Michael’s family and a group of his friends – including a number of former Lone Soldiers – who were inspired by his dream of building a center in Israel to address the physical and social needs and struggles of fellow Lone Soldiers. Flaster, a former Lone Soldier from the Phoenix area and a friend of Michael’s, initially volunteered at the Center and now serves as its National Director. The Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin currently operates throughout Israel, with centers in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Kibbutz Gesher in northern Israel.

The Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin is dedicated to meeting all of the physical and social needs of Lone Soldiers. It provides pre-army counseling and walks the new olim – immigrants – through the induction process and prepares them for service in the IDF. Once that service begins, the Center provides Lone Soldiers with emotional support, emergency assistance and Shabbat meals.

In commemoration of Michael’s 10th yahrzeit on the seventh of Av – August 11, 2016 – U.S. Supporters of The Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin was established as a United States-based 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to the same mission as its sister organization in Israel.

Brian R. Lurie, President of the U.S. organization, noted that “It is hard to imagine a greater manifestation of love for Israel than that exhibited by the young adults from the Diaspora who quickly transform from boys and girls to soldiers, by enlisting in the IDF.” Lurie’s son Avi is a current Lone Soldier, a sharpshooter in the Paratrooper Division currently in Commander training.

According to Flaster, “The Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin receives no funding from the Israeli government or the IDF. Its budget is entirely funded through donations, more than three-quarters of which come from the United States.”

“As we approach the 10th anniversary of Michael’s passing,” Lurie concluded, “we are proud to establish a U.S.-based charitable organization in his memory, to provide crucial support to the young men and women serving in the IDF as Lone Soldiers.”

To learn more about Michael and his inspiring story, visit A HERO IN HEAVEN at: www.aheroinheaven.com.

For more information on Lone Soldiers, please visit the website of our sister organization in Israel: www.LoneSoldierCenter.com.

To make a U.S. tax deductible donation to support Lone Soldiers: https://lonesoldiercenter.com/donate/


###

Disclaimer: JRelease is a press release service of AJPA. AJPA does not endorse and cannot vouch for material distributed by this service.


Sponsors

Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal