It was always Josh Rosen’s dream to join the Israel Defense Forces. He graduated Towson University one semester early then joined the IDF in Nachal 931, a unit that guards Israel’s borders. After completing his service in the IDF, he went to Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya to receive his master’s degree.
Rosen died on May 8, 2018, while he was a student at IDC. In his memory, Rosen’s family created the Joshua M. Rosen Foundation.
The foundation supports lone soldiers who study at IDC, said Nathan Altshuler, Rosen’s friend and current board member of the Joshua M. Rosen Foundation. The foundation chooses one or two lone soldiers every year who want to pursue a master’s degree in counterterrorism and homeland security conflict and diplomacy at IDC.
“Josh really understood that he was lucky to have such amazing educational opportunities in life and that not everyone could have those same opportunities,” said Sharon Rosen, Josh Rosen’s mother. “We know that Josh would be proud of the work the foundation has done and will continue to do to honor his legacy.”
The Joshua M. Rosen Foundation was founded two years ago and has since helped three lone soldiers receive their master’s degrees. The foundation has requested another lone soldier for this coming year from IDC.
“They’ve made aliyah, served meaningfully in the IDF, received their undergraduate degree and this master’s is the last step to establishing their career,” Sharon Rosen said.
In the future, the Rosens hope to expand the foundation and provide scholarships for lone soldiers’ undergraduate degrees as well.
“We hope to grow the foundation and be in a position to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees to fulfill the needs of these deserving lone soldiers,” Sharon Rosen said.
The Rosen family is honored to be able to offer lone soldiers support through the foundation, she said.
Altshuler said that Josh Rosen was happy in Israel. Even though Rosen and Altshuler grew up in Baltimore, they met in Israel. At the time, Altshuler was doing security for the train station as part of his own IDF service, and Rosen saw him twice a day as he commuted to school.
“When Josh got out of the train, he already had a huge smile on his face,” Altshuler said. “I worked security by the train station for a long time and most people who get out of trains early in the morning look very tired and not as energetic. Seeing Josh always lit up my day.”
The lone soldier community is a small one and everyone knows each other, Altshuler said.
In Israel, Josh Rosen’s close friend Myron Schneider is grateful for Josh Rosen’s companion- ship. He met Josh Rosen at an ulpan before the army and was lucky enough to draft into the army with him as well.
“We did everything together,” Schneider said. “I was so lucky to already have a friend like Josh before entering into the army.”