Placing a Wreath on Har Herzl on Yom HaZikaron

Monday, Apr 20 2015

Barbara Goldstein with IDF soldier Rachel Avata at Mount Herzl. The two last met when Goldstein blessed Avata at her graduation ceremony.
By Barbara Goldstein, Deputy Director of the Hadassah Office in Israel

I placed a wreath on Har Herzl at a monument in memory of 265 survivors who came to Palestine, fought and died in the War of Independence. They have no living relatives. As young men they lost everything and everyone in the Shoah.

It’s known as The Last Remnant and is located at the end of the road called Shoah to Rebirth. It connects Yad Vashem to Mount Herzl.

Over 1,000 Israeli high school seniors spent the morning at Yad Vashem ending in the Valley of the Communities. The message of this monument is like an unfinished house—the metaphor for their short lives. Their home was there and is no more. The home they built here never happened.

Israel's Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told the young people he’s sorry that we have to pay such a high price for our sovereignty. “I am proud of each and every one of you as you will take your place in the Israel Defense Forces,” he told them.

I have been privileged for many years to place a wreath on behalf of Hadassah and the World Zionist Organization. I also placed a wreath on Yom HaShoah in memory of the British soldiers who fought for our independence during World War II.

We—Hadassah—are the only American Jewish Organization that has had the honor of laying wreaths on Mount Herzl. I am proud to represent you and to let you know the place of honor Hadassah alone has in the history of the State of Israel.

As I left, a beautiful Ethiopian soldier called out my name. “I am Rachel Avata,” she said “and I graduated Meir Shfeyah and was in Poland with Hadassah.” She’s becoming an officer and loves her service to the State of Israel. Her mother remembers that at her graduation ceremony I blessed all the children and told the parents they would all be proud of them.

In these moments I think of Henrietta Szold and how every child’s life was important. She continued to go to the villages and meet the children into her 80s.

We, dear friends, walk in the footsteps of giants who understood that leadership often requires personal sacrifice. With that in mind, we are forever reminded of the famous saying: “It is not incumbent upon you to complete the work, but neither are you at liberty to desist from it.”

Let us continue to set our eyes to the hills and to the future.


From: Sue Ritter on April 28, 2015
BG this brought back so many memories of moments shared with you last weekend. Thank you for your love of Israel and for all the amazing work that you do in Hadassah's name. I am so glad that I was able to be with you at our conference. Much love and respect, Sue Ritter
From: Anonymous on April 22, 2015
Thank you for all you do! Chellee Miller Siegel, FAR
From: Cathy Olswing on April 21, 2015
Barbara, we could not wish for anyone more eloquent nor more passionate to represent us. Thank you for all you do!
From: Lauren Stern Kedem on April 21, 2015
Barbara, Thank you for this beautiful report. We are all connected and links in the work of Hadassah and the State of Israel. Love you, Lauren
First Name
Enter this word:

Related Stories


Thursday, Mar 15 2018

Advocacy Update - March 13th

Hurry! Urge your Representatives to cosponsor and support the Holocaust Survivors Assistance Program in Fiscal Year 2019.


Thursday, Mar 8 2018

Thousands of Druze Villagers Mobilize to Save Baby’s Life

The knowledge that four-month-old Husam urgently needed a bone marrow transplant to save his life brought out tens of thousands of community members from the Druze village of Issifiya and neighboring areas to see if their bone marrow would be a match.


Wednesday, Feb 14 2018

Aly’s Blog, Chapter Five: Weather Set to Peak at 27 Degrees Celsius--Not Bad for February

Shalom from Modiin, where the weather is set to peak tomorrow at 27 degrees Celsius (80.6 degrees Fahrenheit)--not bad for February!


Wednesday, Feb 14 2018

Advocacy Update: Together We Can Make a Difference

On February 14, Americans woke up to the 18th school shooting to take place in 2018. These senseless acts of violence instill fear in the lives of families who are left wondering if their local school will be next. The value of all human lives is central to our mission as a women’s Zionist organization.


Donation Questions


(800) 928-0685

Membership Questions


(800) 664-5646

Missions Department


(800) 237-1517

Contact Us

40 Wall Street

New York, NY 10005


More ›

Show More