Published On: Thu, Nov 4th, 2021

Veteran’s Day Barbeque to Honor South Florida Veterans and the Memory of Boca Resident, Andrew F. Snow

Boca Raton, FL — According to The U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, veterans and current armed forces personnel, especially those who serve in combat positions, can experience moral injury or “damage done to one’s conscience when that person perpetrates, witnesses, or fails to prevent acts that transgress one’s own moral beliefs, values, or ethical codes of conduct.” In addition to other mental and emotional health crises and severe issues that often develop after a soldier has served in the military, moral injury can lead to a path of self-destruction and suicide among America’s bravest — with an estimated 17-20 veterans dying by suicide each day. 

Upon realizing that many traditional mental health and medical programs for veterans don’t offer support for, or focus on, spiritual healing after military service, Boynton Beach-based Heroes to Heroes Foundation, which is financially supported by Jewish National Fund-USA’s (JNF-USA) Boruchin Center, was established to help fill this void — offering American combat veterans who have attempted suicide or are on a path to self-destruction due to moral injury the chance to restore their faith and heal not just their minds, but their souls. 

The Heroes to Heroes journey to healing takes place over the course of a year and begins with a 10-day trip to Israel, where the participants spend time with Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers and visit sites including the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the Via Dolorosa, and Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, and the JNF-USA and KKL-JNF 9/11 Living Memorial in Jerusalem – the only memorial outside of the U.S. that lists the names of all who died that day – among other spiritual and historical locations. While in Israel, veterans often become reconnected to their faith and experience forgiveness, peacefulness, and emotional relief.

“For U.S. veterans, regardless of religion, the journey to Israel is a spiritual one,” said Founder and President of Heroes to Heroes Foundation, Judy Isaacson Elias. “The Heroes to Heroes program begins with this trip and all veterans commit to completing the full program, which requires monthly writing assignments, one-on-one coaching, and virtual team meetings. Over 300 veterans have participated in the Heroes to Heroes program and outcomes are remarkable.”

JNF-USA’s Boruchin Center supports Heroes to Heroes as part of its broader efforts to build bridges and meaningful connections between Americans and the people of Israel.

On November 10, 2021, at 7:00 pm, JNF-USA is partnering with Heroes to Heroes Foundation and Boca Raton Synagogue to honor all local veterans in South Florida, and to learn about this unique program that is proving to stop suicide among veterans. 

The community barbeque celebration and inspirational Veteran’s Day program — the first Veteran’s Day event hosted by Boca Raton Synagogue — will also commemorate the life of Andrew F. Snow, a veteran and Boca resident who was saved from suicide by Heroes to Heroes but died in 2020 due to a health condition that began during his service in Iraq. Andrew’s family is now helping Heroes to Heroes realize Andrew’s dream of sending teams of Florida veterans to Israel with this life-saving program. 

“Our son Andrew came home from the war in Iraq suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder and moral injury,” said Andrew’s father, Art Snow. “After many Veterans Administration programs and lots of support from the family, he was lucky to be able to travel to Israel on the Heroes to Heroes journey. In Israel he really discovered his faith and started to love himself again. He loved the people of Israel and he dedicated himself to helping other veterans through the Heroes to Heroes program. In addition to all these benefits, our family was able to heal after seeing him rediscover his faith and find joy in his life again.” 

For more information and to register for the BBQ celebration for our U.S. veterans event at Boca Raton Synagogue on Wednesday, November 10 at 7:00 pm, visit jnf.org/BRSBBQ or contact Lee Lebovich at [email protected]

About Jewish National Fund-USA

JNF-USA is the leading philanthropic organization for Israel that supports critical environmental and nation-building activities in Israel’s north and south. Through its One Billion Dollar Roadmap for the Next Decade, JNF-USA is developing new communities in the Galilee and Negev, connecting the next generation to Israel, and creating infrastructure and programs that support ecology, individuals with special needs, and heritage site preservation. Learn more at jnf.org.

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