ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 235

Promoted Content The Times of Israel - Promoted Content Masa: Israel Journey

Remembering Captain Denis Krokhmalov-Veksler: A Tribute to a Courageous Soul

Denis Krokhmalov-Veksler’s life was a testament to courage, love, and boundless ambition. His story will be honored at Masa Israel Journey’s Yom HaZikaron ceremony.

Denis Krokhmalov-Veksler’s life was a testament to courage, love, and boundless ambition. His journey from Ukraine to Israel was not just a geographical move but a transformational journey that touched the lives of all who knew him. Today, we honor the memory of Denis, a beloved son, brother, friend, and warrior, whose spirit continues to inspire us all.

Denis’ Journey in Israel

Denis’ dedication to his country and the IDF was unwavering, a sentiment echoed by his friends and unit. (Courtesy of the family)

Arriving in Israel with Masa Israel Journey’s Desert Challenge program (formerly Masa Sport Extreme), an organization founded by The Jewish Agency and the government of Israel, Denis quickly became an integral part of his new community.

“The enlistment was a story,” Philipp recalled. “He was fixated on the Sayeret Matkal, the paratroopers, elite units. When they told him he was enlisting in combat engineering, he was upset. I was more established then and I convinced him that he could contribute from anywhere. I was right – in the end, he excelled in combat engineering and he was promoted very quickly, becoming an officer in the Yahalom Unit.”

Denis’s dedication to his country and the IDF was unwavering, a sentiment echoed by his friends and unit. His unit describes him as a true warrior who loved the unit to the extent that he tattooed its symbol on his chest, exactly where the emblem is located.

Following his military service, he dedicated himself to giving back to his community. He returned to Nitzana initially as a counselor and then as an instructor in the Garin Tzabar program in Nitzana, where Denis found purpose and camaraderie. The program was a huge part of his life. He was lively, very active, eager to meet people, very sociable.

A passionate athlete and nature enthusiast, Denis approached life with vigor and determination. His entire family describes Denis as an athlete, a strong sportsman in an unconventional way who was “addicted” to sports, extreme activities, nature trips, and workouts.

His commitment to service extended to his aspirations, with dreams of space exploration and aerospace engineering at the forefront of his ambitions. “Denis had Napoleon-like plans,” Philipp responded to a question about Denis’s future. “For Denis, the sky was not the limit, it was part of the goal.”

Tragically, Denis’s life was cut short in the line of duty in the central Gaza Strip at the age of 32. He fell on the 27th of Tevet, 5784 (January 8th, 2024) as part of Israel’s war against Hamas in an operation to destroy Hamas tunnels discovered by the Israeli Defense Forces.

In Dedication to Denis 

Denis was about to start studying aerospace engineering at the Technion. (Courtesy of the family)

Denis was due to begin his studies this year in the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at the Technion.

Now, his legacy lives on in the Technion and aerospace industry. The NOVA-SAT satellite, a project led by Dr. Hillel Rubinstein and Dr. Oded Golan is dedicated to Denis’s memory. The name given to the satellite, NOVA-SAT, combines commemorating the events of October 7th with the central scientific mission of the satellite. The scientific satellite development, whose main task is communication, is a final project of a group of students in the faculty, and it is intended to serve as a satellite for measuring gamma radiation from space, developed by the faculty of aerospace engineering.

 

A photo of participants from last year’s Masa Israel Journey Yom HaZikaron ceremony. (Credit Masa Israel Journey)

Denis’ story will be shared at Masa Israel Journey’s 16th annual Yom HaZikaron ceremony held at Yad L’Shiryon in Latrun, Israel. This event, the largest of its kind conducted in English, attracted over 5,000 attendees and countless viewers worldwide, honoring Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror. This year’s observance of Yom HaZikaron comes at a particularly poignant time. Following the October 7th Massacre, the ongoing war, and the sharp rise in global Antisemitism, Israel and the global Jewish community face profound grief and shock. Under the theme “We Are One,” the ceremony reflected our collective mourning and the resilience necessary to rebuild and maintain hope.

For more information or to watch the live stream, visit Masa’s Facebook and YouTube.

As we reflect on Denis’s remarkable journey, let us honor his legacy by embodying the same fearlessness and dedication that defined his life.

Denis’s memory is cherished by all who knew him. His infectious laughter and unwavering spirit continue to resonate, reminding us to embrace life with courage and compassion.

As we reflect on Denis’s remarkable journey, let us honor his legacy by embodying the same fearlessness and dedication that defined his life.

 

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