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Niot Watzman, in memoriam

Niot, son to Ilana and Haim Watzman and brother to Mizmor, Asor, and Misgav, was born on Jan. 24, 1991 (9 Shevat 5751) at Kibbutz Tirat Zvi and grew up in Jerusalem’s Baka neighborhood. He attended Dror High School and spent a year at the Keshet Yehuda pre-army program.

Niot faced a number of challenges in his life, among them learning disabilities. Despite the difficulties and frustrations this caused him, he persevered and overcame them. In doing so he found self-confidence and joy in who he was, and these gave him an exceptional ability to understand other people’s inner lives. He was a joyful and funny person. At home, in school, and among his friends in his pre-army program and army unit, he was the “glue,” the one who knew how to attach people to each other and to teach them to understand one another. Unlike many young men of his age, he did not hesitate to express his feelings, which were mostly of love and empathy, and knew how to elicit such expressions of emotion from others.

After completing the pre-army program, in August 2010, he enlisted in Battallion 13 of the Golani Brigade. He was a devoted and conscientious soldier who did much to help his buddies, especially the unit’s “lone soldiers,” those who had come from overseas to serve in the IDF and had no families in Israel. After completing his training he was sent home on sick leave to have a small operation and to seek treatment for knee pains. During Pesach 2011 he went with three friends to engage in one of his hobbies—scuba diving in Eilat. On Thursday, April 28 (24 Nissan) an accident took place during a dive and he was mortally injured. He died on Saturday, April 30 (26 Nissan) at the age of twenty.

On these pages you will find pictures, stories, memories, and eulogies that tell about Niot’s special qualities, achievements, and his devotion as a son, brother, friend, and soldier. You will also find information on the projects the family and community are carrying on in his memory.

In Niot’s memory, his family has established, in cooperation with the Society for the Advancement of Education, the Niot Project to help teenagers with learning disabilities and ADHD. We have prepared a brochure explaining the project, and more detailed information is available on the Society for the Advancement of Education website. The project’s Annual Report for 2012 is available here

We would be happy to have your support for this important project. Donations may be made in the following ways:

In the USA: Contributions to the Niot Project tax-deductible in the US can be made through either PEF or the New Israel Fund.

To give through PEF, make out a check to “PEF Israel Endowment Funds Inc.” and mail it to 317 Madison Avenue, Suite 607, New York, NY 10017, USA, with a cover letter designating the donation for the Niot Project at the Society for the Advancement of Education, Jerusalem, or print out and use the designation form you can find half-way down on the Niot Project donation page.

To give through NIF, make out a check to the New Israel Fund and mail it to NIF at 330 Seventh Avenue, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10001-5010. Please include a cover letter designating the donation for the Niot Project at the Society for the Advancement of Education, Jerusalem, or print out and use the designation form you can find half-way down on the Niot Project donation page.

In Israel: Tax-deductible contributions to the Niot Project can be made through either of the following routes:

By mailing a check made out to the Society for the Advancement of Education (Address: P.O. Box 16252, Jerusalem 91162, Israel).

Donations may also be made on-line (choose the Niot Project button).

9 Comments

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Suzanne // May 25, 2011 at 2:29 am

    Haim- I am so sorry.

  • 2 Andrew Gow // May 27, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Zichronav livracha. My heartfelt condolences.

  • 3 mazal kessel // Jul 12, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Ilana & Haim may Niot”s memories will keep you strong. mazal

  • 4 ira // Sep 26, 2011 at 6:04 am

    Zichronav livracha

  • 5 ira // Sep 26, 2011 at 6:09 am

    זיכרונו לברכה

  • 6 Anna Lazaroff // Oct 21, 2011 at 6:43 am

    Dear Haim,
    I just saw your posting about your dear son Niot. I’m so sorry for your loss. He sounds like a wonderful boy.

    Anna Lazaroff
    B’nai Havurah
    Denver

  • 7 Shimon Ein-Gal // Feb 1, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Haim, I am sorry for your tragic loss.

  • 8 Susan Spiegel // May 18, 2014 at 4:10 am

    Dear Mr. Watzman,
    I just finished reading your very touching essay Desertion in the Jerusalem Report. My heart breaks for you, your family and son. I was so moved that I googled Niot Watzman and came to this page. He was a beautiful young man at the beginning of his life. I am so sorry. As the mother of three sons I can’t imagine how one goes on. The world is forever a different place for you now. My deepest condolences, may you meet again someday.

  • 9 rachel // May 26, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Haim.i too was very touched by your article in the jerusalem report.I am a nurse in pediatric oncology and what you wrote gives a glimpse into what loss feels like over .the perspective of time. You also touched on the significance of support from people around you even if you continue to feel so deserted. May the work you do in NIot’s memory bring comfort to you and your family

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