Every year on Memorial Day, students at the Boyar High School Residence in Jerusalem attend the graves of the fallen nationwide and lay a wreath on behalf of the Boyar family.
The current COVID-19 crisis has caused all students in the Boyar residence to return to their homes throughout Israel and restricted travel. As a result the Boyar community was forced to come up with a new approach — asking Boyar alumni to participate in an exciting new initiative and volunteer to go to the fallen graves, lay a flower and light a candle in accordance with the rules of the Ministry of Health during the coronavirus.
The response was overwhelming, quick and exciting.
Here’s how Rina Turgeman, a Boyar High School teacher, a Boyar graduate and a member of the Boyar Alumni Association, saw things unfold:
“I have just returned from Mount Herzl and I would like to share with you the excitement: In recent days, a decision has been made that, because it is impossible to keep the tradition and go up with students to Mount Herzl, the alumni association asked adults to volunteer.
“On Thursday evening we posted a notice asking for volunteers from all parts of the country. The number of graduates who responded was huge. So many wanted to take part in the mission we had to tell some that we already had enough volunteers.
“There were also teachers who called in and volunteered. One teacher, a Boyar graduate on military duty, said her mother would go in her place.
“There were alumni who came to Mount Herzl from Ma’aleh Adumim and Tzur Hadassah today. When we sent each volunteer the soldier’s information sheet, some said they had already read about it online. The graduates arrived on time and most were dressed in white, with flowers donated by the Elias family (alumni parents). Some of the graduates met family members at the graves, sat with them and talked with them about their fallen soldier.
“All the graduates said in the end thank you for inviting them to participate as a result of the coronavirus.
“When you ask what the spirit of Boyar is, that’s the answer for me.”
May they rest in peace.