About Ilan Ramon

Ilan Ramon z”l

(June 20, 1954-February 1, 2003)

PERSONAL

  • Ilan Ramon was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, and grew up in Beer Sheva.
  • His mother and grandmother were survivors of the Auschwitz

concentration camp.

  • Ilan Ramon was survived by his wife Rona and their four children.
  • His eldest son, Captain Assaf Ramon, died on September 13, 2009, aged 21 during a training flight.  He graduated from the IAF flight school as the top cadet in his graduating class.

 

AIR FORCE CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Ilan Ramon was a Colonel and fighter pilot in the Israeli Air Force.
  • In 1981 he was the youngest pilot to take part in Operation Opera, an Israeli military operation to bomb Iraq’s unfinished Osirak nuclear reactor.  The facility was destroyed.

 

NASA AND THE COLUMBIA SPACE SHUTTLE

  • In 1997, Ilan Ramon was selected as a Payload Specialist and reported for training at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas in July 1998.
  • Ilan Ramon was the first Israeli astronaut and served as the payload specialist of STS-107, the fatal mission of America’s Columbia space shuttle, where he and six other crew members perished during re-entry.
  • STS-107 Columbia (January 16-February 1, 2003) was a dedicated science and research mission.
  • Although considered a secular Jew, Ilan Ramon felt he represented all Jews and all Israelis.  While in space he observed the Sabbath and was the first astronaut to eat kosher food.
  • Aboard Columbia Ilan Ramon carried a pencil sketch, “Moon Landscape”, drawn by 14 year old Peter Ginz, who died in Auschwitz.  He also took with him a microfiche copy of the Torah given to him by Israeli President Moshe Katsav and a miniature Torah scroll from a Bergen Belsen survivor.  Other items included a barbed wire mezuzah by artist Aimee Golant as a symbol of the Holocaust as well as a dollar bill  ( add “from”) the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneeron (Schneerson).
  • Ilan Ramon is the only foreign recipient of the United States Congressional Space Medal of Honor

 

OTHER

  • An Article of Hope”, recently opened the 2011 Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival and has been screened at Jewish film festivals nationwide.  The film parallels the fateful journey of a miniature Torah scroll that survived Bergen Belsen and its profound symbolism with the life story of Colonel Ilan Ramon and his close bonds with fellow astronauts.
  • Our school is the first day school in North America to be named after Ilan Ramon.

 

SEE A CLIP ABOUT ILAN RAMON BY CLICKING HERE