30,000 people attended Max Steinberg’s funeral after he fell in action during Gaza op last year; Max’s father: ‘He followed his heart.’

Hundreds filled the military cemetery at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem on Thursday in a moving memorial service for Max Steinberg, a lone soldier from the United States who was killed in action during 2014’s Operation Protective Edge.

Steinberg was born in Los Angeles and made Aliyah to serve in the IDF, a journey that ended in a state funeral attended by over 30 thousand people. He was 24-years-old at the time of his death. Steinberg fell in the Gaza neighborhood of Saja’iyya in an attack on an armored personnel carrier in which another seven soldiers were killed.

Steinberg's parents Evie and Stuart. (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Steinberg’s parents Evie and Stuart. (Photo: Gil Yohanan)


As with his funeral one year ago, social media was filled in the last few days with calls to attend Steinberg’s memorial to show respect.

Max Steinberg.
Max Steinberg.


The American’s mother Evie and father Stuart flew to Israel for the memorial and his father said, “He followed his heart, learned Hebrew and joined the military. He did everything to be the best. He understood the challenges that Israel faces every day.”

The memorial Thursday. (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
The memorial Thursday. (Photo: Gil Yohanan)


Steinberg’s mother Evie donned a necklace with the symbol of Golani Brigade and a chain with her son’s dog tag around her neck. She spoke to Max before the crowd and said, “Israel adopted you and our family. You lived in the hearts of millions in Israel and in the world.”

Max’s sister Paige made Aliyah after being moved by the outpour of support in the wake of her brother’s death. “It’s unbelievable to see all the people who fought with my brother and the connections that were forged with them. I thank everyone for supporting me.”

As reported by Ynetnews