AACI Memorial Forest & Annual Ceremony
On the road from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, near the vital pass of Shaar Hagai (view map) where fierce battles raged in 1948, stands a forest established by the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel in conjunction with the Jewish National Fund.

The first trees were planted following the Six-Day War in 1967 to honor the memory of those olim from North America and members of their families who fell in Israel’s wars. The forest is a living memorial, an eternal link between the fallen fighters and the land they loved.  The scope has since been expanded to include those who fell in the pre-State days, as well as in terrorist attacks, including tourists and temporary residents.
It serves as a site of remembrance and reflection for Israelis and visitors alike. 
Since before the establishment of the State, more than 300 American and Canadians have fallen in Israel’s wars, defensive actions, and terrorist attacks. Their sacrifice has preserved the State of Israel for the Jewish people. 
The AACI Memorial Ceremony is held each year during the High Holiday season to honor the memory of those North Americans, or AACI  members, and members of their immediate families who have fallen while in service to the State of Israel or as victims of terror. This is a moving tribute to those who made the supreme sacrifice so that Israel can exist as an independent and strong Jewish state. 
The AACI National Memorial Ceremony will be held on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 
 ו' תשרי תשע"ח at 16:00 at the AACI Memorial Site near Sha'ar Hagay. 
To our great sorrow, the following people will be remembered and their names added to the Memorial Plaque this year:
David Golovensitz
Erez Orbach
Niot Watzman
יהי זכרם ברוך
Last year's the ceremony was not held in the Memorial Forest due to ongoing roadwork along Route 38.  Therefore the plaques with the names of the following people will be officially "unveiled" at this year's ceremony: Hallel Yaffa Ariel, Taylor Force, Avraham Goldman, Eitam and Naama Henkin, Richard Lakin, Michael Mark, Yair Mordechai, Shlomo Rindenow, Chaim Rothman, Ezra Schwartz, Yonatan Suher,  Tuvia Yanai Weissman
יהי זכרם ברוך
The featured speaker at the ceremony will be Yael Eckstein, senior vice president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.  Born in Chicago, she studied at Torat Chesed Seminary in Israel, Queens College in New York, and Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She has degrees in biblical studies,  Jewish studies, and sociology.  As senior vice president of the IFCJ, she oversees all programs and serves as the international spokesperson for the organization.  In 2014, Ms. Eckstein was named “One of Israel’s 100 Most Influential Women” by Makor Rishon.
Yael Eckstein’s speech will be entitled: ‘A Rose Amongst Thorns’
Please note that Mincha prayers will be recited at 15:45!
We hope to have you join us for this very moving and significant AACI event.
Donna Grushka and Rabbi Jay Karzen
Co-Chairpersons, Memorial Committee
IMPORTANT:  Please see the updated instructions for entering the Memorial Site on the map below!
JERUSALEM  BUS:  A bus will leave the AACI office in Talpiot at 14:00 sharp!  Please phone AACI   02-5661181 to reserve a place on the bus; the charge for the bus is NIS 30.  We advise arriving at AACI at 13:30 in order to be ready to board the bus at 13:45.

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