We have entered the second stage of bringing over 600 new members into BFL.
This includes matching newly injured soldiers with BFL volunteer mentors who have overcome the same injury.
The magic of BFL is in the moments where a newly injured soldier meets a mentor who has the same injury and can see the future version of himself thriving.
Our BFL members also provide practical guidance that no one else has the ability or experience to provide.
This photo is of one of our new brothers, who was injured severely in his eyes. When asked how he was, he put his fist up, showing his BFL bracelet. Our brothers immediately did the same. He will rise beyond his injury and will do incredible things in his life. He is the light of Chanukah.
- We are currently onboarding 600 injured soldiers since the war started. With a reported 900+ soldiers injured, this number will rapidly increase in the next 18 months.
- To date, we have spent over $900,000 to provide for immediate needs, including medical equipment, supplies, and technology for hospital stays, financial aid for families, accommodations for members in the south of Israel, and mental health support.
- We began the second stage of hospital mentoring, where newly injured soldiers are matched injury for injury with a BFL mentor who has learned to thrive with the same injury.
- We continue to operate the WhatsApp Emergency Hotline, where BFL members, newly injured soldiers, and their families can communicate their medical, emotional, and financial needs.
- 90% of the activities in the Beit Achims (our BFL centers) in central Israel and the north have been restored while we are creating new programs to accommodate the post-October 7th needs.
- We established a mentoring project that connects each soldier and their partner/spouse with a mentor and their partner/spouse to help guide them and their families through their rehabilitation process.
- We are providing urgent medical second opinions for new members with complex injuries, provided by medical specialists from North America.
- We are now bringing 30-40 injured soldiers weekly from the hospital to our BFL centers for a special orientation program.
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT – Shraga Stern
As the warm glow of the Chanukah candles begin to illuminate our homes, we are reminded of the countless miracles here at Brothers for Life. Tonight, we would like to share one of those stories.
Born in Israel to American parents, Shraga’s life was intertwined with the threads of duty and service. He proudly served his country as a platoon commander in the Second Lebanon War, forging an unwavering dedication to protecting his homeland. Even as he transitioned to civilian life, his commitment remained strong.
In 2016, as an active Major in the Reserves, Shraga received a call to action. A Hamas terrorist invaded the peaceful town of Efrat, and Shraga’s unit pursued the terrorist through the night. As they closed in on the terrorist, he lept from behind a bush and plunged a 12-inch knife into Shraga’s chest. A fierce hand-to-hand combat ensued, with Shraga ultimately stopping the terrorist, even while injured severely. Shraga then fought for his life in the field as his own internal systems began to shut down. Miraculously, Shraga made it to the hospital alive.
From the first day in the hospital, Brothers for Life supported Shraga on his way to recovery. After months of rehabilitation, Shraga walked out of the hospital and into a community of other injured soldiers just like him. After being helped by his fellow soldiers, Shraga soon began mentoring other injured soldiers like him.
On the morning of October 7, Shraga was living in Chicago when he learned of the attack. He immediately headed to the airport to catch the first plane to Israel to help lead his IDF reserve battalion in the new war. Since that time, Shraga has been fighting Hamas in Gaza, risking his life daily to protect Israel and the Jewish People.
Like Shraga, 120 Brothers for Life members are now serving on the front lines despite their injuries. They are willing to give everything to keep us all safe, no matter what the cost. They are living testament to the power of courage, faith, and the enduring spirit of Am Yisrael. They too are the sacred light of the Menorah of Am Yisrael. May they return safely to their families.
Brothers for Life will provide emergency services as the number of injuries continues to rise and is expected to reach as high as 2,000 over the next 24 months.
Thank you for enabling BFL to rapidly scale our operation and emergency services to help each newly injured soldier reclaim their life. On behalf of our now almost 1,900 BFL members and their families, may this Chanukah bring you and your family peace, togetherness, and a deep experience of Am Yisrael Chai.