Shir Hajaj was a 22 year-old young pretty soldier when her life was snuffed out in a terrorist ramming attack in January 2017.
Shir was torn from this life in a bloody terrorist attack on January 8, 2017 on the famous Haas Promenade in Jerusalem’s south. To commemorate her her family distributes food baskets to needy families and they are making a special effort to distribute “mishlochot manot” – celebratory gift baskets distributed every year at Purim.
Herzel and Merav Hajaj could be proud of their daughter. Shir was the eldest of her four daughters. She was always one of the best at school, having passed her high school diploma with honors. She enrolled at Azrieli College and participated in a project that did development research on semiconductors, consisting of four materials that, when lit generate electricity. The research of is extremely relevant for solar cells. Measurements are complicated, extensive and very accurate. Shir performed excellently in this project and graduated with distinction from the Faculty of Materials Engineering at Azrieli College.
Then she was called up by the IDF for her compulsory military service.
Shir was assigned to an intelligence unit, the 81st Technology Unit, founded in 1961 to find solutions for specific complex issues. Many soldiers from this unit have, over the years, been awarded the Order of the Chief of the General Staff. The unit has also won many Israeli Security Awards. The 33rd award was given to Unit 81 for an operation in which Shir participated in. After serving in this unit for 2 months, Shir began an officer’s course.
Two weeks before the end of her officer’s course, Shir was dead, torn from life during the bloody terrorist attack on January 8, 2017. Israel’s Prime Minister, Defense Minister, Chief of the General Staff and the President visited the family to personally convey their condolences.
Shir had grown up in a loving home, often struggling with financial difficulties. She was aware that not only did she need financial support, but others had to struggle to survive as well. In her spare time, she dedicated herself to students from 5-6 different schools in Maale Adumim who had learning difficulties. Many of these students owe their high school diploma to her effort.
Shir not only helped these young people but, for a year, she voluntarily assisted a Holocaust survivor. She visited every Thursday, helped with doing shopping, kept her company, and helped wherever she could. After the terrorist attack, the family of the Holocaust survivor did not have the heart to tell her about the death of the young soldier.
Shir’s parents sought a way to commemorate her and to deal with their grief and formed an organization honoring her. This organization aims to carry on the good deeds that Shir started. Two of the organization’s goals are distributing food baskets for low-income families and organizing lessons for scholars with learning difficulties.
Food baskets are donated by parents and students from Maale Adumim and every other week are collected, packed and distributed by a different high school class. At the beginning of the project the number of baskets distributed numbered 26 and now stands at 150 every two weeks.