February 15, 2015 was supposed to be a very happy evening for the Bentow family of Copenhagen.
The entire family was dressed up, Hannah’s hair was done and the Bentow family was ready to celebrate their daughter’s Bat Mitzvah. (When a Jewish girl turns 12, she is considered a Jewish adult and an active part of the Jewish nation)
Guests were coming into the hall, the Music was playing and smiles could be seen all around. This was supposed to be a night that Hannah would remember for the rest of her lie. The smiles quickly turned to fear when shots were fired and before they knew it, all the guests were locked in a safe room to protect themselves from bullets that were coming from a gun held by a Muslim terrorist.
Omar El- Hussein, charged the central synagogue in Copehagen in attempt to infiltrate Hannah’s Bat Mitzvah and murder as many Jews possible.
In the front of the synagogue stood a volunteer guard named Dan Uzan (37), who was actually a friend of the Bentow family. Dan stopped the terrorist from entering the synagogue but was hit and later died of his wounds.
The attack not only ruined Hannah’s Bat Mitzvah, it left her with a feeling of fear as well as guilt. Hannah later turned to her mother and said, ““I wish I didn’t have a Bat Mitzvah and Dan was still alive.” The terrorist attack hit a nerve with Jews from around the world and one Canadian Jewish business man named, Josh Salmon, decided to do something about it.
“As a Jew, regardless of your level of observance, a Bat Mitzva is a major milestone in a girl’s life, and to have this major event destroyed by a terrorist attack is something that can and will cause severe psychological damage, especially at such a young age,” said Josh Salmon, the Toronto resident who helped organize Hannah’s Bat Mitzva redux in Israel. “Hearing about this, myself, the Dan Hotel and a couple of other private family foundations got together and took Hannah and her family to Israel for a week to give them a vacation and to give her a Bat Mitzva party to give her some good memories.”
When Standing Together heard that the Bentow family was coming to Israel, we immediately contacted Josh Salmon and offered to bring Hannah and her entire family to an IDF base to meet the soldiers who are protecting Israel. “As an active IDF reserves soldier in an elite IDF paratroopers unit, I felt the pain of terror as my platoon mate, Yehoshua Friedberg was kidnapped and murdered in 1993, and I know, If there is one thing terror victims need, it is to meet those who are making sure we stay safe. I wanted them to know that we are one nation and I knew meeting the men and women of the IDF would be an empowering experience for them.” explains, Ari Fuld, Assistant Director of Standing Together.
According to Hannah’s mother, As soon as Hannah and her siblings heard of the opportunity to visit an IDF base, they would not stop talking about their upcoming visit and constantly repeated how important it is to show IDF soldiers that they support and think about them even though they are not living in Israel.
At first the Bentow children were a little nervous to be visiting soldiers, but as soon as the Standing Together jeep and trailer pulled up to an IDF base in Hebron, the smiles began to shine, both from the Bentow family as well as from the soldiers who were stationed there.
Like so many other families from around the world who have come out with Standing Together to say THANK YOU to IDF soldiers, the Bentow family’s IDF experience was one they will never forget, and neither will we.
We originally brought the Bentow’s to an IDF base to show them we care and to give them strength but it was the soldiers who in the end, received an emotional boost from a Copenhagen family who just wanted to show their appreciation to IDF soldiers.
Watch the Bentow family say THANK YOU and celebrate Hannah’s Bat Mitzvah with IDF soldiers.
The summer in Israel has hit and it is HOT!
Temperatures have already soared over 100 degrees and we recently launched our annual IDF summer campaigns to help keep soldiers fully active even under the scorching sun and make their lives a little easier. Each soldier is issued 2 IDF plastic canteens and each holds just under a liter of water. Due to the canteens’ plastic material, water that is stored does not retain its cool temperature and has an aftertaste that is a little less than appealing.
We have thousands of soldiers that we plan on supplying operational water pack carriers to. These packs are insulated which keep the water fresh and cool and allow soldiers to drink while on the move. We need your help to reach as many soldiers as possible so please take a second, fill out the form below and help us support the men and women of the IDF who are on the front lines protecting Israel.