2nd Lt. Yannai Kaminka, 20, a commander in the Home Front Command, was killed battling against Hamas in southern Israel on October 7. In high school, Yannai led a scouts troop. During his year of national service before joining the army, he worked with at-risk children.
Kaminka, a dual US-Israel citizen who grew up in Tzur Hadassah, just outside Jerusalem, was serving at the Zikim IDF training base when Hamas terrorists stormed across the Gaza border and attempted to take control of the army base. Under heavy fire, Kaminka and a handful of fellow officers at the Zikim training base near Gaza’s border rushed to secure the younger, less experienced trainees in the base’s bomb shelters before taking over the perimeter guard posts.
Hit by a Hamas rocket-propelled grenade a couple of hours later, Kaminka did not survive the long battle. But because of his relentless efforts to keep the well-armed operatives from taking over the base, many others lived through that day.
He is survived by his parents Eyal and Elana, three siblings (Liam, Timna, and Nevo) and grandmother, Brenda Wolfson.