Shalom (Hello). My name is Kobi Dostakam, and I am proud to be a Colonel in the IDF and head of the 2015 IDF delegation to Cleveland. I am married to Marina, have four children and have been serving in the IDF for 26 years. Tonight, we mark Yom Hazikaron, the Day of Remembrance for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel.
Having the Israelis stay with us was a truly incredible experience.
I was lucky enough to be paired with a girl, Inbal, who spoke fluent English. Bringing her to hang out with my friends, giving her a tour around Shaker Heights, and bringing her to school may have been even more interesting for me than it was for her. While she was experiencing a new culture outside of her own, I was provided with an outside perspective on my daily life, which is rare.
As a member of icnext, I was given an opportunity to view Israel as an insider and abandon my tourist outlook on the country. I accomplished this goal of connecting and engaging with Israel by living with the Dalal family in Beit She'an.
No words can adequately describe the suffering of those who experienced the horrors of the Holocaust firsthand. And, no words can adequately describe the heartache felt by the hundreds of Cleveland community members who join together each year to listen to survivors tell their stories at Yom Hashoah V’Hagvurah, on Holocaust Remembrance Day. We created this video in partnership with Kol Israel Foundation to share the importance of Holocaust education. Today, children survivors are nearing the end of their lives and we won’t be able to hear their stories firsthand forever. Please watch and share as we say “Never Again.”