Northbrook native and Glenbrook North High School graduate fighting in Israel war

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and Tom Jones WLS logo
Wednesday, October 11, 2023
Northbrook native fighting in Israel War
30-year-old Jonny Amram is one of the roughly 360,000 reservists to join the war in Israel.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Glenbrook North High School graduate received the call from Israel to rejoin the ranks he once served. This time he'll be fighting in his homeland's war effort against Hamas.

Thirty-year-old Jonny Amram is one of the roughly 360,000 reservists to join the war in Israel.

"To come in here and to walk through the streets and to see to see buildings, burned down cars with bullet holes all throughout them and completely smashed. Bodies of, of dead civilians, being brought out of the settlement itself by paramedics, wrapped in plastic bags," he said.

As Amram is fighting for Israel, 6,200 miles away his North Shore friends are fighting for him.

Longtime Northbrook friend Jason Teitelbaum is raising money on a non-profit site called JGive. He's hoping to help pay for new body armor for Amram and his colleagues.

"As he explained in layman's terms to me a couple times, his role was carrying a very heavy gun into these houses and he would enter first. So that's why we're a little worried and his ask is more, is newer bulletproof vests. So as you can imagine, we want to get in those bulletproof vests and that's why we've been not working, not sleeping," Teitelbaum said.

Amram's parents were visiting in Israel when the surprise attack happened. As of Tuesday they remain in a bomb shelter while their soldier son describes, in a video obtained by the I-Team, his team's efforts to locate and free Hamas hostages.

"It's just a shocking situation and, and to see... going into a lot of these houses, searching for people that are still, hopefully finding them still alive. We have managed to actually find two families, two, two women that were that were hiding out," said Amram.

Teitelbaum said the updates from his friend are sporadic, but when he is able to grab his phone he sends texts or short video messages.

"At the end of the day, we're just literally trying to buy bulletproof vests for our friends who's going to be going into rescue hostages. He's not a violent guy. He's just gonna go and try to do his job and save some people," he said.

The high-grade tactical armor that special forces officers require can cost from $1,000 to $1,500 or more per man; a small price to pay, according to Jonny Amram's friends.