The sister of fallen IDF lone soldier Max Steinberg has followed in his Zionist footsteps and moved to Israel. 

Fallen IDF soldier Max Steinberg, 24, a California native, had come to Israel to join the IDF, leaving behind his family and a comfortable life in Los Angeles.

He first visited Israel on a Birthright tour in 2011, which he made together with his two siblings. He joined the IDF’s Golani Brigade six months later.

Max was killed in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge on July 20, together with another 12 Golani soldiers, when an anti-tank rocket struck their vehicle.

At the time of his death, Max had no family in the country. His family feared that no one would come to his funeral. They quickly understood that in Israel, all Jews are “family” when more than 30,000 Israelis turned out to accompany Max on his final journey, even though they had never met him.

Max now has even more family in Israel – his sister Paige, 21, immigrated to Israel and began her studies at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya.

“I never planned on studying and living in Israel, but I wanted to be as close as possible to my brother,” she told Ynet. “I feel happy here, like I’m following in his footsteps.”

Max’s parents first visited Israel to attend their son’s funeral. Paige commented about that experience in an article in Ynet:

“During the ceremony, we felt the support of the people, and it was amazing. We realized that it was one of the biggest funerals ever held in Israel … My parents realized the extent of love the country had for Max and they were at peace with their decision to bury him in Israel.”

Paige returned to the U.S. for a short while after the funeral but understood that she wanted to be in Israel. “Had the disaster not occurred, I would have never been living here; the tragedy triggered the change in my life.”

WATCH – Max’s funeral at the military cemetery in Jerusalem:

By: United with Israel Staff
(With files from Ynet)

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