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A son lost, a son gained

BARUCH Ben Yigal, who dove into the Yarkon River in Tel Aviv to help rescue Australian athletes when the Maccabiah Bridge collapsed 25 years ago, addressed members of the Zionism Victoria board on Monday night.

Four Australians were killed in the tragedy on July 14, 1997, and dozens more injured.

Ben Yigal was joined at the meeting by Jonathan Goldberg, a junior table tennis player who he saved from drowning that fateful night.

As well as his harrowing recollections of the bridge disaster, he also recalled the tragic death of his son Amit, who was killed in May 2020 while serving in the IDF when he was struck by a rock hurled from a rooftop by a Palestinian terrorist.

“It was incredibly moving to hear from Baruch,” said Zionism Victoria president Yossi Goldfarb.

“He may have lost a son, but he gained the love and admiration of the entire Australian community, and we are proud and honoured to count him as part of our extended family.”