In the Media

Planting Hope with IDF Widows and Orphans
During Tu B’shvat, IDFWO organized a tree planting event in the Givat Koah Forest in Israel—a site where many trees were devastated due to the recent forest fires. The olive tree was chosen as a symbol of peace and hope.Read more >>
Children of Fallen Soldiers Celebrate Group B’nai Mitzvah
More than two dozen children of fallen Israeli soldiers, as well as the son of an American serviceman who died in Afghanistan, celebrated their bar and bat mitzvahs in Jerusalem this month in a group ceremony conducted by the IDF Widows and Orphans Organization.Read more >>
Bar and Bat Mitzvahs for Israeli Military Orphans
Dozens of orphans of fallen Israeli soldiers and the son of an American serviceman who died in Afghanistan celebrated their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs in Jerusalem on Thursday, Oct. 13, in a mass ceremony conducted by the IDF Widows and Orphans Organization.Read more >>
Death of Airforce Pilot Too Close to Home for IDFWO Chairperson
Death of Israeli air force pilot a little too close to home for chairperson of IDF Widows & Orphans Organization. Tami Shelach will attend memorial service for her husband whose plane was shot down during Yom Kippur war - before attending funeral of Major Ohad Cohen  
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IDF orphans B'nei Mitzvah in Jerusalem
IDF orphans celebrate coming of age in Jerusalem. Israeli children are joined by son of US fallen soldier.Read more >>
Children of Fallen Israeli Soldiers, and an American, Celebrate Bar Mitzvahs
Dozens of orphans of fallen Israeli soldiers, and the son of an American serviceman who died in Afghanistan, celebrated their bar and bat mitzvahs in Jerusalem Thursday in a mass ceremony conducted by the IDF Widows and Orphans Organization.Read more >>
For Head of IDF Widows and Orphans Group, Yom Kippur a Reminder of a Love Lost
Tami Shelach, chairperson of organization that represents families of fallen soldiers, struggles to discuss her husband, a pilot who was shot down and killed over Egypt in the war 43 years agoRead more >>
Son of US Soldier Killed in Afghanistan Shares Bar Mitzvah with Israeli Counterparts
Andrew “AJ” Voelke was 8-years-old in 2012 when his father, US Army Major Paul Voelke, 36, was killed while serving in Afghanistan.Read more >>
Bar/Bas Mitzvah For IDF Orphans Scheduled In Jerusalem
The IDF Widows and Orphans Organization will hold a special Bar and Bas Mitzvah celebration for 45 IDF orphans on Thursday, 11 Tishrei. Taking place in the event will be the IDF Chief Rabbi, who will present the children with their first set of Tefilin and conduct a special service in which they will receive an aliyah to the Torah. The davening will be followed by a festive meal and event at the Jerusalem Theatre in the presence of President Reuven Rivlin, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkott and Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman.Read more >>
The Time Of Israel
among the classic images of Israel’s Memorial Day, Yom Hazikaron, are those of widows and orphans crying at a gravesite; of politicians talking about sacrifice, duty and honor at national ceremonies; of a flickering candle next to the portrait of a soldier who fell in battle.Read more >>
Israeli Fighter Pilot Killed in Crash in Southern Israel
Tami Shelach, Chairwoman of the IDFWO, comments on death of Israeli Air Force pilot Maj. Ohad Cohen Nov, 34, that occurred Wednesday during a crash landing of an F-16i fighter jet in southern Israel.Read more >>
Shiri Maimon Sings With The IDF Orphans
An Emotional Performance by Shiri Maimon and IDF Orphans.
They lost their fathers at an especially young age; some barely got to know them. And now, just before Memorial Day in Israel, eight orphans joined singer Shiri Maimon in an emotional music videos in their fathers' memories. "Through my pain, and my joy, you are always with me," they sing together; the sounds and words also telling of the space that will never be filled.Read more >>
Shlomi Shabat and IDF Orphans Sing a New Rendition of "Dad"
IDF orphans used to sing this song together at the Otzma (Strength) Camps, which is one of the major youth programs provided for the children three times a year by the IDF Widows and Orphans Organization. The camps are a significant part of their rehabilitation process. As a result, the organization turned Shabat and when asked to re-record the song together with the orphans, the singer became filled with joy.
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President Rivlin to Orphaned Bar Mitzvah Boy: "I’m so proud of you!"
When Avichai Ochna was growing up, like many of his friends he dreamed about the day of his bar mitzvah; the dancing, the presents, the party, coming of age and becoming a man. He never dreamed that the President of Israel would come to his party or that he would be the only man left in his family.Read more >>
IDF Orphans Ask Netanyahu: How did you feel when your brother Yoni was killed?
At a recent meeting before Memorial Day 8.5 year old Heyot Bayhasian Kshuan asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu how it felt to lose his brother Yoni who fell during Operation Entebbe freeing Jewish hostages in Uganda in 1976. The Prime Minster respondedRead more >>
Times of Israel
As the media and politicians continue to debate whether or not this is a third Intifada; as the streets of Jerusalem, the City of Gold, become increasingly empty at nights, with the hustle and bustle of tourists and nightlife replaced by heightened security and the flashing blue lights of police cars; voices on the right call for retribution and the left call for withdrawal, all I can think about is the 13 new orphans.Read more >>
The New Jersey Jewish Standard
Hundreds converged on Jerusalem today to celebrate the Bar/Bat Mitzvahs of 45 orphans who lost parents in the IDF. The annual IDF Widows and Orphans Organization (IDFWO) Bar Mitzvah celebration was held some distance from the Western Wall for the first time, due to the wave of violence in Jerusalem.

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Yeshiva World News
Due to security considerations, the IDF orphans Bar/Bas Mitzvah event was held at Mount Herzl instead of at the Kosel. The IDF Widows and Orphans Organization will hold a special Bar and Bas Mitzvah celebration for 45 IDF orphans on Monday 29 Tishrei.Read more >>
Baltimore Jewish Life
Hundreds converged on Jerusalem today to celebrate the Bar/Bat Mitzvahs of 45 orphans who lost parents in the IDF. However, the annual IDF Widows and Orphans Organization (IDFWO) Bar Mitzvah celebration was forced to hold their event behind closed doors far away from the Western Wall, where it is usually held.Read more >>
Breaking Israel News
The wave of Palestinian terrorism plaguing Israel has caused mass fear, injuries, and deaths. The news is almost impossible to keep up with, as violent attacks against Israeli Jewish civilians occur on an almost hourly basis.
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