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Avi Dorfman (Template:Lang-he) is an Israeli survivor of the 2007 rocket attack on Zikim Base Bahad 4 in which he suffered a critical brain injury. Dorfman's actions helped to save lives.


Avraham "Avi" Dorfman was born in Tel Aviv in 1989. As a child, Dorfman showed a keen interest in physics, mechanics and technology, building a computer at the age of twelve. [1]Dorfman was offered a scholarship by UCLA but turned it down to serve in an elite intelligence unit in the Israel Defense Forces.[2]


Dorfman at IDF boot camp graduation, the day before the attack

Zikim Base terror attack[]

In 2007, Dorfman was critically wounded in the Zikim Base terrorist attack in which 69 new recruits were injured.[3]Doctors initially classified Dorfman as mortally wounded. He was hospitalized for only 4 weeks before being sent to recovery and his recovery deemed "miraculous."[2]

According to newspaper reports, Dorfman was hit when he stayed behind to administer aid to comrades instead of running for shelter.[4]


Dorfman after his injury on Sept 11, 2007

Dorfman was hit all over his body except for the torso, which was covered by a bulletproof vest. One piece of shrapnel hit Dorfman's right eye, and split into two pieces. One cut the eye and one moved through the hole between the eye and the brain through his frontal lobe.

Dorfman's parents were told he would probably die within ten days, and if by some miracle he survived, he would be permanently physically and mentally disabled.[1] Against the odds, he recovered almost completely.[2] He lost his right eye.

In BaMahane, the IDF Magazine, published shortly after the attack, Dorfman was described as an IDF medical miracle.[5]He was awarded a medal from the IDF Medical Corps for his bravery in saving lives.[1]


Medal from IDF medical corps

Following his recovery, Dorfman rejoined the same elite unit and completed his military service.[1]

UCLA Controversy[]

Following his recovery, Dorfman was again accepted to University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2009, where he majored in computational mathematics and earned a spot on the Dean's List. He dropped out in August, 2011 after completing his sophomore year.

On February 11, 2016, Dorfman penned a highly controversial Op-Ed [6] for The Algemeiner Journal about how he was bullied for being an IDF veteran, claiming that left-wing Jewish students had called him a "right wing extremist Palestinian baby killer" and made him feel very unsafe on campus as a result of his decision to volunteer and complete his military service when he had the choice not to. In that article, Dorfman mentions having felt forced to leave UCLA due to having been interrogated by strangers who claimed to be from the Israeli Ministry of Defense. Dorfman claims he answered with lies to get them off his back, but ran away back to Israel because he feared retribution.

His claims were denied by several members of UCLA Hillel and Bruins for Israel, who claimed he continued to harass them about their inclusion of J Street as a Hillel group.[6] He also stated that he was removed, blocked, and ostracized from the group he helped run, Bruins for Israel (a StandWithUs supporting chapter), which he claimed he was told was due to absences from meetings as a result of his disability that he had received permission for at the time, but he believes it was due to his vocal opposition to the popular left-wing student group J-Street that dominated the group's membership.

Personal life[]

Upon leaving UCLA, Dorfman began studying computer science at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya. He left after one year following his recruitment by enlisting in various startups. He has since gotten heavily involved in Israel advocacy, having worked with groups such as Students Supporting Israel.[7]

In addition to working on startups, he works as a freelance programmer, website designer, and photographer in Tel Aviv.


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