Our IDF Veterans

Am Yisrael Chai. Zionism. Love for Medinat Yisrael. Yeshivah of Flatbush was founded on these principles. Students, staff and alumni share this love.

Some of our alumni have taken their love and passion for Medinat Yisrael to the next level. They have chosen to serve in the Israel Defense Forces. Some are returning to the country of their birth, some giving back to their adopted country, others serving as lone soldiers. In this issue we highlight (just a few) members of our Flatbush family who have chosen to serve in our homeland. 

Cynthia Benun (HS ’16) was drafted to the IDF in 2018. She served as a sniping instructor which entailed teaching soldiers during a 5-7 week course how to be snipers. For the last 6 months of service, she was a commander in the sniping instructor course and taught soldiers how to be sniping instructors.

Cynthia has since returned to Brooklyn and will be starting college this semester at Brooklyn College.

Avital Vahab Fuchs (HS ’93) felt a strong duty to return to Israel and fulfill her commitment to the IDF as a citizen. She served from 1993-1995 in Ramallah, operating the security room, coordinating between all departments in times of emergency. It required her to be alert at all times in the most irregular situations. She referred to her time in service as most challenging but also some of the most interesting times in her life.

Since finishing service, Avital continues to live in Israel, is a wife, mother, artist and studio owner.

Howard Metz (HS ’79) served as a dentist in the army from 1990 to 1991. He was a sole dentist in the Northern Command serving on a base near the Lebanese border. 

He has continued as a reservist for the last 28 years. In his years of service he has happily seen positive improvement in the dental health of chayalim. He is proud to work with young, motivated, Israelis from a cross-section of society with different ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds. It is truly a place of “kibbutz galuyot” he said. 

Outside of dentistry, Howard’s passion is community theater and just opened in the show ‘Rothschild and Sons’ earlier this month.


Alan Wecker (ES '74, HS '78) served in Shalva Bet as a volunteer reservist from 1991 to 2005. He served during the First Gulf War, guarding prison camps and ended his service working for the unit that called up reservists.

He went to Israel in 1983 for a year of study and never left. Alan had a long career in the tech industry in Israel.

He received his Masters and PhD in Information Systems from the University of Haifa in 2018 and has continued on as a post-doc researcher.


Addie Abihzer (HS ’16) served as a commanding officer in the Israel Air Force until her discharge in 2018. Addie said, “my service was the best decision I have made for myself”. She experienced personal growth and training for the challenges of the real world.

After service, she volunteered as an advisor in pre army programs and as a mentor at the lone soldier center.

Today, Addie is a student at Brooklyn College and is still involved with lone soldiers.

Correction: Our 12.27.19 newsletter incorrectly referred to Richard Chera (ES ’88) and Jeffrey Sutton as business partners. We apologize for this error. We are thankful for their dedication to Yeshivah of Flatbush and the funding of the new College Guidance Center by Richard Chera and family and the Moe and Alfred Sutton families.




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