U.K.-born Last Year’s Lebanon War hero remembered in Ra’anana

27 May

After the funeral, his family and friends sought a way to commemorate Benji, and they focused on the care he took of his soldiers. At first they decided to create a fund that would raise money for various projects assisting soldiers who have no relatives in Israel.

They then began work on Benji’s House, the first major project. The idea is to set up a home capable of housing some 50 soldiers who have no families in Israel or who come from broken homes. They would be able to spend weekends there and even stay after they complete their military service.

The hostel will be supported by volunteers, offering the soldiers financial support, laundry service, meals, access to computers for communicating with their families abroad, and help in finding work and continuing their education after their service. Most of all, the home will be there to offer warmth and support.

The Hillman family is planning to raise $2 million in Israel and abroad, and has already secured $1.5 million. The Ra’anana municipality also rallied to the cause and agreed to offer a plot of land for establishing the home.

The planning for the construction is being finalized, and the family is hoping that construction will begin in a few months. Barring any unexpected delays, the hostel will be ready by late 2008.

Friday’s march is the first of what is expected to become an annual tradition in Ra’anana.

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