ZDVO Beit Halochem Australia recently held an online art auction to raise funds for the thousands of Israeli soldiers injured since October 7.
Many Australian artists – including Melbourne-based Daniel Wein, who has a strong connection to ZDVO – donated their artwork.
Wein and his family made aliyah in 2009. In 2012 he enlisted in the IDF, joining the 50th battalion of the Nahal Brigade and training as a long-range sniper.
Wein was injured in combat during Operation Protective Edge in 2014 and sustained a bullet wound. “While I was lying in the hospital, members of Beit Halochem, soldiers who had previously been injured in battle themselves, came to my bedside,” he recalls.
“Before this moment, I felt alone in my thoughts as I battled my injury.
“These wounded veterans shared their stories with me and for the first time I realised I wasn’t alone.”
Wein started painting for the first time in his life during his year of physical and psychological rehabilitation.
He was awarded a one-year scholarship to study art in Tel Aviv for his entry in the Colours in Barrels Military, Police Force, and Border Patrol Art Competition in 2015. He continued to pursue his art at the Bezalel School of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. Wein later moved back to Australia.
In October, Wein was visiting family in Israel when the war broke out. He found it extremely difficult to leave and not re-join his army unit. He started to paint vivid images of what he saw in Israel on his return to Melbourne. “Everyone contributes in their own way, my way was to donate paintings to ZDVO to raise as much money as possible for the incredible organisation that was integral in my road to recovery, and will no doubt continue to be of paramount importance to the thousands of injured soldiers and victims of terror.”
ZDVO is holding community-wide events – Hear Help Honour – to raise funds for the thousands of newly injured soldiers, featuring keynote speaker, senior analyst of The Times of Israel, Haviv Rettig Gur in Melbourne on February 14, and Sydney on February 20.