Sergeant Lior Ziv of the Israel Defense Forces was killed in the line of duty doing what he loved best: taking photographs.
On April 20, 2003, Ziv, 19, as a photographer in the IDF spokesmen’s unit, was covering the exposure of tunnels between Raphiach and Egypt that were used to transfer weapons and explosives into the Gaza Strip. He was shot while taking those photos.
During his service, which was only in its first year, he took more than 4,000 pictures. A handful of these photos — selected by his mother, Miriam — have been culled for an exhibition that travels through the MetroWest area until June 30.
“Lior had an amazing gift — the gift of capturing feelings with a camera,” said Yotam Zach, shaliah, or Israeli emissary, for United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ.
“His photos tell us a different story about the IDF,” said Zach. “He introduces us to the soldiers, shows us the feelings in their eyes, and brings us their smiles. Through his photos, Lior is telling the story of Israel.”
The exhibit is especially personal to Zach, whose best friend as a teenager was Ziv’s cousin. “It was my first goal when I learned I would be coming to this community for a year to bring Lior and his story with me. I knew that my work as a shaliah would be an excellent opportunity to honor the memory of Lior Ziv by sharing his photos and personal story with as many people in the community as I could.”
The exhibit can be seen at the Leon & Toby Cooperman JCC, Ross Family Campus, West Orange, until April 17. It will then be on display at the Alex Aidekman Family Jewish Community Campus in Whippany on April 18, during the community Yom Hazikaron commemoration, at Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex and Union in West Orange April 19-May 17, and at Bnai Keshet in Montclair June 1-30.