(JTA) — Fallen Israeli soldier Max Steinberg found “inner peace” in his army service, his mother told a crowd of 1,000 at a memorial service in his native Southern California.
The service Tuesday night at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills paid tribute to Steinberg’s American childhood and his service in the Israel Defense Forces, according to the Times of Israel. Steinberg, 24, a sharpshooter in the Golani Brigade, was killed on July 19 while fighting in Gaza. He joined the Israeli army two years ago.
Steinberg’s parents, community rabbis and U.S.-born Israeli Knesset member Dov Lipman spoke at the service, praising his dedication to Israel. He first visited Israel on a 2012 Birthright trip before moving there later that year. Steinberg’s parents’ first trip to Israel was for his funeral in Jerusalem, which drew 35,000 mourners.
“Nothing can duplicate the love showered on our family by the people of Israel,” Steinberg’s mother, Evie, said at the memorial service, according to the Times of Israel. “We have no regrets that Max made the choice to enlist in the IDF. Max was a Golani, a trained, expert sharpshooter, and was determined to fulfill his service. On the way, Max found his inner peace.”
Due to fears of anti-Semitic attacks, the event was surrounded by heavy security.