Our  Soldiers’ Journey to USA
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“These are our soldiers…”: Those were the impassioned words of Shelley Shalom, originally from Jerusalem, who came run­ning out from behind her counter as our group of eight wounded Israel Defense Forces soldiers – Yossi, Aharon, Avichai, Kfir, Ben, Amichai, Refael, and Dudi — walked through New York’s Grand Central Station.
Her reaction, her delight in being able to greet the soldiers and express her deep gratitude for all that they do for Israel and the Jewish People, was consistent with the feelings of everyone the soldiers met all throughout the ten-day trip.
Coordinated by the Chabad Israel Center of the Upper East Side, under the direction of Rabbi Uriel Vigler, and Chabad Terror Victims Project (CTVP), the journey com­bined extraordinary experiences that en­compassed a Yankees game, Disneyland, the Empire State Building, the Holocaust Museum, Ellis Island, Hollywood, Chabad Headquarters, the resting place of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, Central Park, and much, much more.
At every step of the way, the soldiers experienced the love and deep gratitude of their hosts and everyone they encoun­tered. To a person, those who met them were filled with amazement, admiration, and respect for the bravery and commit­ment of these very special young men.
And the soldiers came away from this experience with a renewed sense of self and purpose. The high regard they saw in the eyes of those they met reflected back on them, giving them the courage to re-double their efforts and meet their daunt­ing challenges head-on. They went back to Israel with a deeper sense of confidence in their own abilities.
They say that “A picture is worth a thou­sand words.” The following photos will give you a true “snapshot” of this extraordinary trip, better than any words could ever do. We hope you enjoy!