Shalom Life | July 28, 2014

Tens of Thousands Arrive for Funerals of Slain American IDF Soldiers

Max Steinberg and Nissim Sean Carmeli were American nationals volunteering in the IDF who were killed in Gaza

By: Daniel Koren

Published: July 23rd, 2014 in News » Israel

Dealing with the loss of a loved one has become a scenario too familiar in Israel over the past week, as 29 IDF soldiers have been killed during intense fighting in Gaza, as Operation Protective Edge continues in Israel's bid to fight off Hamas terrorists and protect the citizens of Israel.

The deaths of Max Steinberg, 24, and Nissim Sean Carmeli, 21, in particular hit close to home; the two were both American nationals who volunteered to join the IDF in order to support their adopted homeland, and were killed while fighting in Gaza.

The people of Israel, no doubt, acknowledge their patriotism, as, on Monday, tens of thousands arrived for the Haifa funeral of Carmeli.

On Wednesday, just as many arrived for to pay their respects to Steinberg, who was laid to rest in Jerusalem.


Max Steinberg

Steinberg was a Los Angeles native who immigrated to Israel and enlisted in the IDF as a lone soldier. He was among 13 soldiers who were killed in Gaza on Sunday.

He grew up in the San Fernando Valley, and attended the local El Camino Real High School and Pierce College, reports the Jerusalem Post. It was a Birthright trip to Israel in 2012 that truly inspired him; he made aliyah just three months later, immediately joining the IDF as a lone soldier (hayal boded).

“Max was one of my best friends in the world,” his close friend, Matan Halak, said to the Jerusalem Post. “He joined Golani and lived his dream – to fight terrorism and to save his people.”

Following the news of his death, friends family members, and members of the community joined together at a local park near his family's home to share stories, sing "Hatikva" and light candles in his honor.

Carmeli grew up in Texas, originally from South Padre, and was also among the 13 killed on Sunday. Of the roughly 20,000 who arrived for his funeral, the majority were strangers who came to honor the 21-year-old American-Israeli who gave his life for the people of Israel.

While Carmeli was also a "lone" soldier (which means his parents do not live in Israel), his two sisters live permanently in Israel, as does much of his extended family. Carmeli has spent his time in between the States and Israel, and attended Ostrovski High School in Ra'anana when he was 16.


Sean Carmeli

As depicted on his Facebook page, Carmeli was a highschool football player and Dallas Cowboys fan. While in Israel, he was an avid supporter of the Maccabi Haifa soccer club.

The attendees of his funeral learned about it through social media, arriving as it began on Monday at 11:30pm.

Zeev Bielski, the Mayor of Ra’anana, gave a eulogy at his funeral, saying he was born “among the beautiful vistas of Texas. You chose to make your life here. You overcame the difficulties of integrating into the country. You were popular and you gave of yourself.”

May their memories be a blessing.

Op-Ed: A Firsthand Perspective from Israel Trending What You Missed in the News: July 20 - 27 Trending Son of Hamas Leader: Hamas Does Not Seek Coexistence, but Conquest [VIDEO] Trending
 

Eva Green to Star in Upcoming Tim Burton Film

July 28, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen

The 'Penny Dreadful' actress is in talks for Burton's adaptation of 'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children'.

Read More

Seth Rogen Chugs Beer From The Stanley Cup [VIDEO]

July 28, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen

The 'This Is The End' star drank beer from hockey's biggest trophy during a charity event in Montreal.

Read More

One Direction’s Zayn Malik Receives Death Threats After Tweeting #FreePalestine

July 28, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
One Direction’s Zayn Malik Receives Death Threats After Tweeting #FreePalestine

The Muslim-born pop singer lost quite a few fans on Sunday

Read More

Lea Michele Joins ‘Sons of Anarchy’

July 28, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Lea Michele Joins ‘Sons of Anarchy’

Glee's Rachel Berry will be going from glee club to biker gang.

Read More

Pro-Israel Muslims Seek Alternative to Radical Islam

July 28, 2014 | By Maayan Jaffe
Pro-Israel Muslims Seek Alternative to Radical Islam

The voice of Arabs who call on their peers to fight the inexorable advance of political Islamism over Islam is growing strong

Read More

The Nosh Pit - Kosher Donut Recipes

July 28, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
The Nosh Pit - Kosher Donut Recipes

Now that donuts have surpassed cupcakes as the latest dessert fad, let's celebrate with these yummy kosher recipes.

Read More

Hamas Used Children to Build Tunnels, Of Which 160 Died

July 28, 2014 | By Daniel Koren

The Institute for Palestine Studies reports that children's "nimble bodies" helped in building the secret tunnels

Read More

Zane Caplansky in Hot Water After Deciding to Sponsor Palestinian Film Festival

July 28, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Zane Caplansky in Hot Water After Deciding to Sponsor Palestinian Film Festival

The Toronto-based celebrity chef, and noted pastrami enthusiast, wants to "make lox, not war"

Read More

More Headlines