25 August 2013 – This year marks the 65th anniversary of the Israel Air Force and the 30th of Sar-El. Additionally, the first anniversary of the death of former commander of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) paratrooper branch Brigadier General Aharon Davidi was this past February 11. As a tribute to this great leader, Sar-El is requesting donations for the purpose of purchasing and equipping an ambulance in his name.
Recognizing the general’s contributions to Israel’s armed forces and humanitarian needs, at least one member of the nonprofit organization “Jews in Aviation” (JIA) is opening his wallet to assist the worthwhile project. Yonatan, a contributor from the Jews in Aviation Central Florida Chapter, eagerly explained his eagerness to donate. “I have been involved with aviation in many different capacities all my life. Additionally, I had the pleasure of meeting Brigadier General Davidi several times during periods of Sar-El service. Last year I served on an IDF medical support base. Donating simply makes sense and is the right thing to do.” Yonatan added, “I wish everyone could have met Aharon Davidi. He was truly an inspiring and kind and unassuming man. He cared about others much more than himself. Those qualities epitomize the personality of an effective and exceptional leader. What could be more symbolic as a recognition of his life and contributions than an ambulance that will help to save lives?”
Aharon Davidi was born in 1927 within what was then British-administered “Palestine.” In 1953, he volunteered for the Israel Defense Force’s new paratrooper branch. Due to Aharon’s prior paramilitary experience, he received a commission as a company commander. For nearly two decades, while Israel’s elite airborne armed forces matured, Davidi would be a key figure. He commanded paratroopers during Operation Kadesh and notably at the battle of Mitla Pass in 1956. This mission incorporated the only IDF combat drop, the soldiers jumping from Douglas C-47s. “Whenever a C-47 is in view I think of Aharon Davidi,” remarked one donor.
Davidi subsequently led troops in the 1967 Six-Day War. Eventually, he rose to the rank of brigadier general and commanded the Paratrooper and Infantry Corps. Aharon repeatedly proved his mettle in action, earning the Medal of Courage.
After his long and distinguished military career, Dr. Davidi served as a role model and community organizer. Under his direction in the Spring of 1983, “Sar-El” (The National Project for Volunteers for Israel) came into existence as a non-profit and non-political organization. Sar-El essentially means “Service for Israel.”
Jews in Aviation is an international organization for pilots, aviation professionals or anyone interested in any facet of aviation, at any level. The group began in 2009, and it provides a venue for social and professional networking.
Information about donating to this cause is on the Sar-El website. The page is http://www.sar-el.org/honor-remember-donate/
The author thanks Pamela Lazarus of Sar-El, and Matt Ritter and Howard Cooper of Jews in Aviation, for their cooperation during the preparation of this article.
Sources and Recommended Readings
American Friends of Magen David Adom
Canadian Magen David Adom
IAF Douglas C-47 Dakota
IDF Paratroopers Brigade
Jews in Aviation
Remembering Brigadier General Aharon Davidi