In Tribute of Heroes – Ofir Testa

As the Israeli war rages, Boys Town Jerusalem students and faculty gathered to pay tribute to four fallen grads – Sgt. Gedif Yaakov Mulugeta, Sgt. Benyamin Yona, Corp. Ofir Testa, and Liel Gerafe. In their memory, students have boosted their volunteer efforts to help refugee families and special-needs children, increased their Jewish studies, and much more.

Ofir had a passion for life and Israel

Representing the families of the fallen grads, Ofir Testa’s father spoke of his son’s intense passion for life and his heroic death in battle. “Reaching Boys Town Jerusalem was a pivotal moment for Ofir,” he shared. “Here he acquired the love of Torah, love for the People of Israel, and love for the Land of Israel that guided his short life and spurred his huge accomplishments.”

Ofir fought heroically while injured

After graduating BTJ, Ofir devoted a year to advanced Jewish studies before joining the IDF. Assigned to the tank corps, he was stationed on the Gaza border. At the war’s outbreak, his frantic family tried desperately to phone him, but to no avail. From the tank driver – the sole survivor of the four-man crew – they later learned that at 6 AM, the tank had been repeatedly attacked by hordes of Hamas terrorists. Two crew members were killed, as Ofir and the driver bravely held off the attackers, killing 15 or more. When a hand grenade hurled into the tank exploded, Ofir sustained serious burns to his entire body. Yet he continued to fight as they
advanced to the Israeli music festival under attack, where he saved the lives of several civilians.

Soon afterwards, Ofir was killed by enemy fire. The tank driver was severely injured.

Ofir was a hero

Boys Town Jerusalem gave Ofir the tools for life,” his father told the students. “You, too, must study hard and take all the good this school offers, so that you can give to others. Ofir and his comrades courageously went into battle with complete faith, knowing who they were fighting for and why.”