Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Putting a 'human face' on the IDF

 

October 12, 2018

Untold Stories of IDF Soldiers Tour is coming to the United States Oct. 14 - 28, and will be in Orlando Oct. 24 and 25.

The Tour, sponsored by StandWithUs, has six teams of reservists who will travel in pairs to various parts of the country to speak about their never-been-told-before personal experiences upholding the strict IDF moral code while fighting an enemy that hides behind its civilians. Putting a "human face" on the IDF, they also discuss their struggles, their successes, and their hopes and dreams. The soldiers expect tough questions from their audiences so Americans can learn what it is actually like to live in a country that is the subject of so much discussion in the media and on college campuses.

SWU interns Noa Lotringer of Lake Brantley High School and Sami Kuperberg of Oviedo High School are hosting IDF soldiers Barak and Lyra (for security reasons, only first names are given), who will speak at The Roth Family JCC on Oct. 24, 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

Barak was born and raised in Ra'anana, a town just north of Tel Aviv.  Today, Barak lives in Tel Aviv and studies Industrial Engineering and Management at Shenkar College in Ramat-Gan. In addition to his studies, Barak plays an active role on campus. He is the founder and president of the Model UN, a member of the Student Association, and participated in the StandWithUs Fellowship, all while still being on active duty in the IDF. Barak joined the elite "Meitar" special operations unit in the Artillery Corp. He was chosen and graduated with honors from the elite officers training school, and has moved up the ranks of command positions in the IDF from company commander to Battalion Operations commander and Deputy Battalion commander. Barak participated in multiple military operations, including large-scale battalion and brigade operations. Recently, Barak has played an active role in Israel's humanitarian "Good Neighbor Policy" along the Syrian border.

Lyra was born in Brazil to a single mother with a strong connection to Israel. At the age of 5, Lyra and her mother made Aliyah in search of a Jewish community and a sense of belonging. Growing up as an immigrant gave Lyra a unique perspective on Israel. Over the years, she lived in multiple places and studied in both religious and secular institutions. At the age of 14, she attended a boarding school in Jerusalem where she completed her education until she entered the IDF at age 18. Lyra served as a behavioral science diagnostician in various outposts in the West Bank. Lyra maintains an interest in South American cultural and social issues, which helped her decide to double major in Sociology, Anthropology, and Latin American Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 

Please RSVP at http://www.standwithus.com/Istor2018.

For more information, contact SWU at 561-961-0752 or swuse@standwithus.com

StandWithUs is an international, nonprofit Israel education organization. Founded in 2001, its staff and volunteers are inspired by love for Israel and the belief that education is the road to peace. StandWithUs is dedicated to educating people of all ages about Israel and to combating the anti-Semitism and extremism that often distorts the issues. 

 

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