The students of the Leon Pinelo Jewish School in Lima, Peru have decided to name the graduating class of 2006 after Major Roee Klein who was made famous during the war in Lebanon for his bravery when he jumped on a grenade which was thrown at his soldiers in order to protect them, and was killed instantly.
The idea to name the class after Klein came from one of the students who heard about his story of bravery and said she was extremely moved from his sacrifice. She approached the entire class of about 40 students with her idea and suggested to immortalize his memory out of deep appreciation to his heroic actions. The suggestion was accepted unanimously.
The graduation ceremony of the class took place a few days ago and included prominent Jewish leaders from Lima, as well as Israeli Ambassador Walid Mansur.
The school is the only Jewish school in Lima and is attended by about 400 students. The school emphasizes the love for Israel and teaches the children based on Jewish and Zionist principals. The school has been operating for 52 years and is considered one of the best schools in Peru, and the best Jewish school in South America.
It is a school tradition that each graduating class name itself after a notable Israeli or Jewish personality, as well as a Peruvian personality. The school’s principal has forwarded a letter on behalf of the students to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, which will deliver the letter to the family of Major Klein. In the letter, the students explain how they came to the decision to honor Roee and how proud they are of his bravery and sacrifice.
A large portion of the graduating class will arrive in Israel soon for a period of up to a year to participate in programs for Jewish and Zionist education.