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Grieving Family of Fallen Soldier Finds a Way to Celebrate

By , Jerusalem, Israel

When the parents of an IDF soldier killed in Operation Protective Edge during this past summer told a Chabad representative that they did not have the strength to organize a Bar Mitzvah celebration for their son, he offered to step in.

Staff Sergeant Oz Mendelovich, 21 when he died, served in the elite, high-risk Golani Brigade. “The family was distraught and filled with pain and anguish at the loss of their son. They didn’t think they would go through with plans to celebrate the Bar Mitzvah of  their younger son, Roee,” Rabbi Menachem Kutner director of Chabad’s Terror Victims Project said.

But on Monday, October 27, the family did celebrate Roee’s Bar Mitzvah at the Western Wall. Chabad’s Terror Victims program organized a celebration appropriate for this family in mourning, and despite the pain of their loss “which is still acute,” said Kutner, “there was singing and dancing.” 

Osnat Mendelovich, the grieving mom, spoke at the Bar Mitzvah. “Chabad did not forgot our family, but have been a strong support for us during this terribly difficult time.” 

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