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Commemoration, communication of legacy, and supporting bereaved families

There are 3 core aspects to Yad Labanim’s mission: Commemorating the memory of fallen soldiers; communicating their legacy of dedication and commitment to the next generation; providing support for bereaved families.

We are the first address for families who lose a loved one in the line of duty. We do all we can to ease their pain as they adjust to a new reality, and we stay with them for the rest of their lives. 

israel

Who we are

Yad Labanim was founded in 1949, immediately after the War of Independence. We are a non-political, non-military organization working with the entire spectrum of Israeli society. 

Yad Labanim is the only organization that works to perpetuate the memory of Israel’s fallen heroes, helping their families establish a living legacy in their honor.

We provide assistance, guidance, and counseling to grieving families from every sector of Israeli society, including Jewish, Circassian, Bedouin, and Druze Israelis, creating a community that embraces and supports them every step of their lives.

Members of the organization are bereaved parents and siblings who volunteer their time and experience to help each other.

We provide assistance, guidance, and counseling to grieving families from every sector of Israeli society, including Jewish, Circssian, Bedouin, and Druze Israelis, creating a community that embraces and supports them every step of their lives.

Members of the organization are bereaved parents and siblings who volunteer their time and experience to help each other.

Eli Ben-Shem

Eli Ben-Shem has served as the chairman of Yad Labanim since 1999. 

He lost his son, Kobi, in a military helicopter crash in 1997, while on his way to serve in Lebanon. While mourning for Kobi, Ben-Shem learned first-hand how valuable it is to feel the support and warmth of other bereaved parents. 

Ben-Shem decided to stand for chairman of Yad Labanim when the Department of Security put him through a painful interview before granting him benefits as the parent of a child killed in battle. Ben-Shem wanted to make sure that no other bereaved parents had to go through the same experience. 

As chairman, Ben-Shem oversaw the cancellation of means-testing for bereaved parents and received the Presidential Award in the 70th year of the State.

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“This country has known much suffering through wars and conflict, which have left its face stamped with the marks of pain. We paid, and continue to pay, an extremely high price for the right to place a marker and build a house here. And how do we repay that great and wonderful group of boys and girls who paid the ultimate price for our existence in this land? We can’t. The only small thing that we, the living, can do to honor the sacrifice of our dead friends is to hold on to their memory that follows them and us.”

Yitzchak Rabin, z”l, IDF Chief of Staff and Prime Minister of Israel, 1989.