Only six months following Israel’s intense summer, American Friends of LIBI brought Captain Oron Kalmanzon of the Israel Defense Forces last week to six different cities in the United States, where he spoke about his life changing experience during Operation Protective Edge to different groups of students, professionals, and congregations.
At one of his destinations, Livingston, New Jersey, Captain Kalmanzon spoke to the congregation of the Suburban Torah synagogue. During the session, Captain Kalmanzon not only discussed the operation’s challenges and strategies, but also stressed the importance of the Lone Soldiers who fought in Operation Protective Edge and the huge impact their roles played during the operation.
Rabbi Elie Mischel of Suburban Torah was very pleased with Captain Kalmanzon’s speech and said, “Captain Kalmanzon is an inspiration- a soldier who represents the very best of the IDF and the people of Israel. His strength, humility and love for the Jewish people gave us confidence that our people will overcome any enemy that threatens to harm us. And his very presence helped us feel more connected to the heroes defending the State of Israel every moment of every day”.
Lois Petty of Christian Friend of Israel and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church said the meeting with IDF Captain Kalmanzon reminded her of “the biblical David who was a humble young man but grew into a might warrior. His presentation was so effective you felt you lived through the war as he spoke.”
Captain Kalmanzon continued his tour with visits to students of the University Miami, FL, professionals of the law office Burns & Levinson in Boston, MA, synagogue congregations in Columbus, OH and Fairfield, CT, and students of the American University of Washington, D.C.
Following his speech at the American University, one student commented “It was nice to hear Captain Oron speak about his experience in Operation Protection Edge. It was nice to know the Israeli side of the war and the good things that the Israeli army does that are not perceived in daily life. This event was definitely a great experience. It made me think how I could make a difference on what is happening in the Middle East now. Rabbi Tuly Weisz inspired us to contribute to the IDF Lone Soldiers, or donating a sum to the friends of LIBI”.
Attendees from each presentation showed a deep interest in Captain Kalmanzon’s experience and asked follow up questions. Although Operation Protective Edge was widely featured in media channels over the summer, Captain Kalmanzon was able to share moments he firsthand witnessed, and the seconds he will never forget.
American Friends of LIBI is a volunteer organization supporting the social, educational and religious need of Israeli soldiers. For more information or to support LIBI, please see their website: https://friendsoflibi.org/donate/.