Funeral services were held Jan. 17 in Montreal for 96-year-old Joseph “Jerry” Gross, one of the last surviving Canadian veterans of Israel’s War of Independence in 1948. He served with the 52nd Battalion of the Givati Brigade, along with many other young volunteers.
Gross regularly organized reunions of North American machalniks—the Hebrew short form for the nearly 5,000 “volunteers from abroad” who helped defend the rag-tag Israeli troops against a vastly superior Arab invasion force.
Such contributions to the survival of a Jewish homeland could serve as an inspiration to the students of today, says to the Canadian producer of a documentary film about the machalniks, which is currently in production. Jeff M. Hoffman hopes his film, Unlikely Heroes, will get their story on big screens everywhere. He joins The CJN Daily to talk about it.
- Read a full obituary of Joseph “Jerry” Gross in The CJN
- Learn more about the “Unlikely Heroes” film in this 2016 story
- Machal veterans Dr. Bill Novick and Irving Mallow in this story from our archives
The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here.