Monday, June 30, 2014

Memorial Services In The US For The Three Israeli Children Murdered By Hamas

Edited by Joel Leyden / Jewish PR

New York

Community-Wide Memorial Service for the Three Israeli Teens, z"l
Naftali, Gilad and Eyal
Naftali Fraenkel (16), Gilad Shaar (16) and Eyal Yifrah (19)
3 Candles
Tuesday, July 1st, 2014
Doors Open: 7:00 PM
Program Begins: 7:30 PM

The Jewish Center
131 West 86th Street
(Between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues)
New York City

Join us for a community-wide memorial service for the three Israeli teens who were heinously kidnapped and brutally murdered. Please show your support for the victims and their families.

Speakers will include (list in formation):
Consul General of Israel Ido Aharoni
Congressman Jerrold Nadler
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney
Co-Sponsors (list in formation):
Jewish Community Relations Council of New York
UJA-Federation of New York
New York Board of Rabbis
Council of Young Jewish Presidents


Chicago gathers for vigil for kidnapped Israeli teens
JUF Chairman David T. Brown addresses hundreds gathered downtown at the Thompson Center for a vigil for the kidnapped teens.
The mood at Chicago’s Thompson center downtown on Monday was solemn, as over 500 Chicagoans gathered to show their support for the kidnapped Israeli teens and their families and to pray for their safe return. The peaceful vigil—organized by the Jewish United Fund and held at the James R. Thompson Center—gave members of the community, saddened by the shocking abduction of the three teens, an opportunity to join together in prayer and to show their sympathy for the teens’ families. The JUF Lewis Summer Interns, most of whom are only a few years older than the three kidnapped teens, helped organize the vigil.
Three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped on Thursday, June 12 by Palestinian terrorists near Gush Etzion. The three youths—Gilad Shaar (16), Naftali Frenkel (16), and Eyal Yifrach (19)—were on their way home from Mekor Chaim, a yeshiva high school in Kfar Etzion when they were abducted. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused Hamas of kidnapping the teens and holds the Palestinian Authority responsible for the kidnappings. Netanyahu has also called for the disbandment of the Palestinian Authority’s unity government with Hamas, according to the JTA.
The Israeli military has exercised extensive resources in their effort to locate the boys, while the boys’ families pray for their safe return home. Among American Jews, the focus has been on supporting the teens’ families, largely through prayer (JTA). A media campaign, #BringBackOurBoys—inspired by the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls that was sparked by the abduction of over 200 Nigerian girls by an Islamist terrorist group—has gained momentum as Jews around the globe show their solidarity with the boys and their families.
Opening remarks at the vigil were delivered by David T. Brown, chairman of the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. Brown expressed his and the Federation’s solidarity with Israel and cited the kidnapping as an example of “the obstacles that remain to achieving the peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians that we all seek.” He also welcomed public officials in attendance—Julie Hamos, director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services; Ill. State Sen. Ira Silverstein; Ill. Rep. Scott Drury; and Ald. Debra Silverstein.
Statements of support for Israel, the teens and the vigil came from U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk, as well as Illinois Congressmen Rep. Cheri Bustos, Rep. Rodney Davis, Rep. Bill Foster, Rep. Dan Lipinski, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Brad Schneider, and Rep. Aaron Schock. On Wednesday, Rep. Schneider introduced a resolution calling for the immediate, unconditional release of the captured teens.
Other speakers included Rabbi Yona Reiss, Av Beth Din (chief of rabbinic court) of the Chicago Rabbinical Council; Presbyterian Reverend Robert Cathey, Professor of Theology at the McCormick Seminary; Roey Gilad, Consul General of Israel to the Midwest; and Endy Zemenides, executive director of the Hellenic American Leadership Council.
In a letter written by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and read at the vigil, the mayor condemned the kidnapping and stated: “I see my children in the faces of these three Israeli boys, and like any parent, my heart goes out to their families. No child should have to live in fear that one day they may not return home and I offer my full support to Israel and its search for these missing teens.”
Lewis Summer Interns read short biographies of each of the kidnapped boys. The interns also shared their own sentiments regarding the kidnapping of their Israeli peers. They asked the audience to think of their own children, their own friends and siblings, and to imagine if they were the families of Eyal, Naftali, and Gilad. “I came as a mother. I came as a Jew. I came as an Israeli. I came to support the families and to let the kids know that they have not been forgotten,” attendee Hadassa Dekalo said emotionally.
Many members of the Israeli community also attended the vigil, including a group of Israeli Defense Forces veterans who had been wounded in combat. Ishay Halen, a former soldier, said, “I came to support our brothers here. We are a big family in Israel, [although not literally]. Everyone around the world, every Jewish person, every Israeli person, we all support each other.” He also voiced Israel’s desire for peace and considered the vigil a sign of this desire to the Palestinians. “We don’t want a war…we just want to speak to [the Palestinians],” he said.
The families of Gilad, Eyal, and Naftali ask that you continue to pray for the safe return of their sons. To further show your support, you can like the #BringOurBoysBack Facebook page or sign a national letter addressed to the families of the teens at

CJP, JCRC Host Community Memorial Service for Our Boys

Make Sure the World Knows

"A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."
-Jeremiah 31:15

Eyal, Gilad, Naftali

Our hearts are broken.

CJP and JCRC and our entire community were devastated to learn of the discovery of the bodies of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach in Hebron today.

From the time they were abducted more than two weeks ago, the worldwide Jewish community saw Naftali, Gilad and Eyal as “our boys.” We joined together in hopes that our strength and our unified voice would be powerful enough to bring them home. We are horrified to learn that the three boys were brutally murdered just hours after their abduction.

We cannot even begin to know the pain their families are enduring now. We can only hope that they find comfort in knowing that the world mourns with them and that Israel and the Jewish people stand with them.

The cold-blooded murder of these three Israeli teens is an all-too-vivid illustration of what Israeli families continue to endure at the hands of those who prefer killing to peace. It is an illustration of why we are so deeply committed to Israel and to her people.

When the Hebrews were backed up against the Sea by Pharaoh’s army at the time of the Exodus Moses stood and prayed for God’s help but God was not pleased with the prayers:

"Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward.”

In other words, prayer is not enough. We must redouble our efforts to support Israel and to tell her story at this time of darkness and danger to everyone we know. We must make sure that the world knows what happened today. Tell your friends and family about this terrible crime against these children.

Please join us to remember our boys at a community-wide memorial service:
Wednesday, July 2 at 7:00 p.m.
Temple Beth Elohim 
10 Bethel Road, Wellesley, MA
Barry Shrage
President, CJP
Jeremy Burton
Executive Director, JCRC

Remember Eyal, Gilad and Naftali

Washington, DC –The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and the Jewish Community Relations Council's (JCRC) thoughts and prayers are with the families of the three Israeli kidnapped teenagers whose bodies were found earlier today north of Hebron. 
Eyal Yifrah (19), Gil-ad Sha’ar (16), and Naftali Frenkel (16), z”l, were kidnapped on June 12, 2014. Israeli security forces spent the past eighteen days conducting an extensive search for the teens. The Jewish community across the globe, including here in Greater Washington, rallied its support for the families and the people of Israel. The Jewish Federation and the JCRC would like to thank our incredible community who attended our vigil and kept prayers for the well-being of the boys flowing.
Our hearts are one with the people of Israel. May the memory of Eyal, Gil-ad and Naftali, z”l, be a blessing and their families be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
Los Angeles

Please join us for a Community Candlelight Vigil this Thursday night, June 19th, for Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach – the three teenagers who were kidnapped in Israel last week – as the entire L.A. Jewish community comes together at Pan Pacific Park to pray for their immediate release and their safety. We are holding the vigil so that our family in Israel knows that Los Angeles is united in caring for the well-being of Gilad, Naftali and Eyal. In this time of crisis, our Federation is bringing the community together as one to show the world the strength of the Jewish people and demonstrate our unwavering support for Israel. The event is open to the public, and we will be joined by community leaders, elected officials, religious leaders of all faiths and the Consul General of Israel, David Siegel. Below are the details:

What: Community Candlelight Vigil for Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach

When: Thursday, June 19, 2014; 7:00 PM-8:00 PM
Where: Pan Pacific Park Amphitheatre, 7600 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles 90036
We stand in solidarity with Israel and condemn the kidnapping of innocent teenagers.
Please join us this Thursday night, and invite your family and friends.

Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford Expresses Grief
Over Deaths of Kidnapped Students in Israel

Remember Our Boys Solidarity Memorial Planned for

Tuesday, July 1, at 6 pm at the Mandell JCC of Greater Hartford

WEST HARTFORD, CT- The Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford and the worldwide Jewish community join with the State of Israel today in grief and horror following the announcement of the tragic deaths of Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Fraenkel and Gilad Shaar.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford issued the following

"It is simply unimaginable that anyone could commit such a
heinous and despicable act such as this. As Jews, as mothers and fathers, as sons and daughters, and simply as people, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Eyal, Naftali and Gilad at this time. There is no reason - none - why a tragedy like this should have occurred. We stand alongside our brothers and sisters across the world  and in Israel in condemnation of this senseless murder, and we pray that those responsible are swiftly brought to justice."  

The Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford and the Mandell JCC of Greater Hartford will hold a "Remember Our Boys Solidarity Memorial" tomorrow evening (July 1) at 6 p.m. at the JCC in the Herbert Gilman Theater. The event is free and open to the public. If you have further questions about the service, please call Laura Zimmerman, Associate Vice President of Community Affairs at the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford: 860-727-6167 or email her at



Statement from the Greater Miami Jewish Federation on the Murder of Three Israeli Teens

The Greater Miami Jewish Federation joins the worldwide Jewish community, the State of Israel and all people of goodwill throughout the world in expressing our collective grief and outrage at the news of the killing of the three Israeli teens kidnapped 18 days ago.
We are heartbroken to learn of the tragic deaths of Naftali FrenkelGilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach, innocent children abducted at a junction near Gush Etzion south of Jerusalem as they traveled home from school. One of the teens, Naftali Frankel, was also an American citizen.
Less than a week ago, Miami’s Jewish community came together for a prayer service to show solidarity with the families, hoping and praying for the safe return of the boys.
Our hearts go out to the three teens’ families who have endured unspeakable pain and heartache and now face this enormous loss. The Greater Miami Jewish Federation stands alongside our brothers and sisters across the world and in Israel in condemnation of these senseless murders, and we support every effort to bring those responsible to justice.

We extend our deepest condolences to the families of Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach. May they be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem and may their children’s memories forever be as a blessing.

San Diego

The Jewish Federation of San Diego County and the worldwide Jewish community are joined with the State of Israel today in grief and horror following the announcement of the tragic deaths of Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Fraenkel and Gilad Shaar. 

Michael Siegal, Chair of the Jewish Federations Board of Trustees, issued the following statement:

“It is simply unimaginable that anyone could commit such a heinous and despicable act such as this. As Jews, as mothers and fathers, as sons and daughters, and simply as people, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Eyal, Naftali and Gilad at this time. There is no reason – none – why a tragedy like this should have occurred. The Jewish Federations stand alongside our brothers and sisters across the world and in Israel in condemnation of this senseless murder, and we pray that those responsible are swiftly brought to justice.”

Michael Sonduck, President and CEO of our local Federation added - "We all stand together in sharing our grief and outrage at the senseless and tragic deaths of these young men."


Tonight’s vigil is now a memorial. Please join us in mourning for the three kidnapped Israeli boys. Let us unite as a community for the grieving families and for the state of Israel.  
On June 12, three Israeli students – Eyal Yifrach, 19;  Gilad Shaar, 16; Naftali Frenkel, 16 – went missing on their way home from seminary and efforts are still underway for their safe return.
Communities around the world are rallying to show support for the boys, their families and Israel. 
The memorial is open to the public. 
June 30, 2014 
7:30 pm

Mandel JCC
Stonehill Auditorium
26001 S Woodland Rd

Please use the Stonehill entrance

Parking available at the Mandel JCC and The Temple-Tifereth Israel

Las Vegas

Local group opens memorial fund for Israel teens found dead in West Bank 
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL The Jewish Federation of Las Vegas has opened a memorial fund for three Israeli teenagers found dead in the West Bank on Monday.
The teenagers, Gilad Shaar, 16, Naftali Fraenkel, 16, and Eyal Yifrah, 19, disappeared while hitchhiking outside the Palestinian city of Hebron on June 12.
The Israeli military found the bodies of the three Jewish seminary students more than two weeks later, buried “under a pile of rocks” near a small village outside the city.
The Israeli government has accused Hamas, an Islamic militant group sworn to Israel’s destruction, of being behind the deaths. Hamas has denied involvement.
Jewish Federation President and CEO Elliot B. Karp said more than two dozen area synagogues plan to offer prayers to mourn the teenagers over the weekend.
“Our Jewish community is bereft with grief over the senseless murders of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali,” he said in a statement. “We offered prayers and hopes over the last three weeks that they boys would be found alive and returned safely to their parents.
“We now mourn with the families and the people of Israel; and express our condolences and sympathies in the hope that they will find comfort and solace from us and all people who abhor such violence.”
Memorial donations can be made by check or credit card to the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas, 2317 Renaissance Drive or 702-732-0556.
Karp said funds collected will be contributed to the Victims of Terror Assistance Fund of the Jewish Agency for Israel, a beneficiary of the Jewish Federation.
For more information on the memorial fund, contact Karp at 513-608-4174 or 702-479-4440.

Palm Beach

Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of Israeli teens Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Fraenkel, whose bodies were found after being kidnapped by Hamas terrorists.
May these boys’ memory be for a blessing.
Offer your support in a letter we are sending to the families of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali during this devastating time. You can find the link below.
Let your voice be heard. Stay informed with frequent updates on our Facebook and Twitter as this situation unfolds.


Houston leaders: Kidnapped teens not alone

Federation leaders Denis Braham and Lee Wunsch join Amb. Meir Shlomo in showing solidarity with Israel as it searches for students who were abducted after class.
Federation leaders Denis Braham and Lee Wunsch join Amb. Meir Shlomo in showing solidarity with Israel as it searches for students who were abducted after class.

By MICHAEL C. DUKE • Thu, Jun 26, 2014 Yellow ribbons were tied around a column at the front steps of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston on June 19, one week after three Israeli teens - Naftali Frenkel, 16, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Eyal Yifrach, 19 - last were seen at a hitchhiking post in the West Bank, some 15 miles south of Jerusalem.
In addition to yellow ribbons, the display is comprised of Israeli flags and photos of the three teens, printed with the Twitter hashtag #BringBackOurBoys.
“They’re not alone,” said Denis Braham, board chairman of Houston’s Jewish Federation. “All Jews stand together. We stand with them and will continue to stand with them until they are back home with their families.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Hamas for kidnapping the teens, who were on their way home from studying at a yeshiva high school in Kfar Etzion. Netanyahu said he was holding the Palestinian Authority responsible, following a unity agreement signed in April between the PA and Hamas, a terrorist organization dedicated to Israel’s destruction.
Lee Wunsch, Houston Federation president and CEO, noted that U.S. media aren’t covering the story. Most people, he observed, seem either unaware of the kidnappings or already have forgotten, seven days later.
By creating this reminder of the Israeli teens, the local Federation hopes to raise awareness.
“We want to keep it in front of people’s minds, to be aware that we’re standing with them and the families until they’re released,” Wunsch said.
In an email on June 16, Wunsch wrote: “The Jewish Federation of Greater Houston stands in complete solidarity with the people of Israel and with the families of the abducted students.
“The three kidnapped teens are our sons, too, and we join with Jewish parents around the world to offer our thoughts and prayers as the government of Israel stands up to terror and mounts every possible effort to bring the boys home.”
Israel’s top diplomat in the region remains hopeful.
“In sad times like this, people come together,” said Amb. Meir Shlomo, consul general of Israel to the Southwest, whose office is in Houston.
“I’m sure that as a nation, we will come out stronger from all of this.
“Like everyone in Israel, I’m hopeful they will find them well and alive,” Amb. Shlomo said.
Israeli security forces arrested nearly 300 Palestinians, including 200 Hamas operatives, a week after the kidnappings, according to reports. Videos have been released by the IDF spokesperson’s office, showing the seizure of assault weapons and explosives.
One of the teens managed to call a police hotline during the abduction, according to reports. The dispatcher reportedly thought it was a prank and, as a result, police were slow to respond and the army wasn’t notified until the next morning, prompting widespread criticism.
The search-and-rescue operation for the kidnapped teens is ongoing.
Houston community responds with prayers Communal prayers have dominated the Houston-area Jewish landscape since the Israeli teens were kidnapped.
Among those gathering for prayers are Torah Day School students. The Shul of Bellaire, with the teens in mind, held a challah-baking on June 19.
According to Rabbi Chaim Lazaroff, if the teens were not found by June 25, a prayer will be said during the Timeless Leadership program in the Wortham Center theater.
In email correspondence, Rabbi Gidon Moskovitz noted that a worldwide campaign is bringing in Shabbat 15 minutes earlier than usual, as a “merit for these young men, and G-d willing, their safe and speed return.” Rabbi Moskovitz offers the full names for the teenagers – Yaakov Naftali ben Rachel Devorah, Gilad Michael ben Bat Galim and Eyal ben Iris Teshurah – to include in the recitation of Tehillim.
Shelley Kohr, in an email, added that most of the Orthodox synagogues are saying Tehillim for the teens nearly every night between Mincha and Maariv. She also wrote that on June 17, there was a worldwide Tehillim to say Chapter 121, and that women may add the same chapter when lighting Shabbat candles.
Rabbi Barry Gelman, also by email, wrote that Rachelli Sprecher Frenkel, mother of Israeli hostage Naftali Frenkel, has stressed the immense encouragement that their families have gotten from hearing about communities coming together to pray for their children. “She asked that we continue to do that, as well as anything else that builds unity in the Jewish community,” stated Rabbi Gelman.


Congregation Shaarie Torah: Conservative 920 NW 25th Avenue Portland, OR Contact Nicole Walters
Please join us in solidarity with the families of Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Fraenkel, and Gilad Shaar
for a community memorial
Tuesday, July 1, 7:00 pm at Congregation Shaarie Torah.
Open to the entire community - Sponsored by the Oregon Board of Rabbis


We express our grief and outrage over the deaths of the three kidnapped teenagers in Israel.
We held out hope that our boys would come home to their families and that hope was shattered with the news that the bodies of Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Fraenkel and Gilad Shaar where found today. These young boys were senselessly and brutally murdered.
We want our voice and voices all over the world to be heard loudly decrying these horrific murders and this despicable act of terrorism. We stand in strong support of Israel to defend its citizens and to do whatever it takes to bring the murderers to justice.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Eyal, Naftali and Gilad and to all who knew and loved them.

New Orleans

#PeaceForOurBoys: A Community Gathering
On Monday, June 30, the bodies of Gilad Shaer,16, Eyal Yifrah, 19, and Naftali Fraenkel, 16, who were kidnapped on Thursday, June 12 were found on a field in Hebron.
Please join the Rabbinic Council of Greater New Orleans and the Jewish Community Relations Council to show support for the teens and their families on Wednesday, July 2 at 7:00 p.m. at the Uptown JCC (5342 St. Charles Avenue).
This special community vigil will include Rabbi Ethan Linden, President of the Rabbinic Council of Greater New Orleans, Dr. Brenda Brasher, Chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council and Temple Sinai's Cantor Joel Colman, father of an Israel Defense Force (IDF) soldier.
To learn more, please contact Allison Kushner at or at 504-780-5688. backpacks or large purses

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Why The Palestinians Have Better PR Than Israel

The Palestinians don't need PR - they have brilliant event marketing!

Israel News Agency

Jerusalem --- If you asked me this question a year ago or ten years ago, my knee jerk response would be money. The Palestinians and the Arab world have oil dollars, millions of them to make us look bad while slamming our towns and cities with rockets and missiles.

But the real answer is actually two fold.

Yes money is one part. But we also have access to money.

The Palestinians (when I say the Palestinians it means the Arab world) are more creative than the Jews.


The Jews who dominate Hollywood and the media are being decimanted by Arab creativity.

Our PR sucks because the Israeli government does not retain professional PR or social media professionals. Just look at last week's Israel to the UN Mission press conference.

Very few attended.
It did not make major media. Less than 100 people viewed it on YouTube!

But when the Palestinians do something - they are truly great.

Just look at their creativity - flotilla ships to Gaza, powerful photoshopped pictures on Facebook, staged videos of "dead Palestinians" on YouTube, the chutzpa to walk into stores in Paris, by the hundreds, to demand boycotts and now - knowing no limit - the production of an elaborate opera openly illustrating their terrorism and 

An opera about such a horrific incident. The 1985 murder of a disabled Jewish American who was vacationing with his wife aboard the Achille Lauro cruise ship when Palestinian hijackers shot him in his wheelchair and threw him off the deck. 

“The Death of Klinghoffer” was scheduled to run at the New York Metropolitan Opera.

And where are the Jews?

Where are the Israelis?

The Israelis are today putting out fires in southern Israel. Fires in our towns and cities caused by Hamas terror rockets. The Israelis are holding up signs saying: "free our boys". The Israelis are hitting Syrian military sites for attacking our northern border with missiles.

Israel is at war and just doesn't have the time for being media creative.

Take one step back. We were at war in the 1960's yet that generation really knew how to respond. Transcending Abba Eban, Hollywood produced such greats as Exodus and Cast A Giant Shadow.

In the seventies we produced not one version but three of Entebbe

We were not issuing news releases to a tired, biased media which does not care and to a public which has no time to read beyond the headlines.

Israel went where the people were. Where the public would spend hours focused on various issues. Israel went to the movies and to the stage.

People love to be entertained and will actually turn off Facebook and Twitter for a good movie.

Today, the Palestinians are grabbing the stage.

Don't we have any talented screenwriters?
Can they not find funding from Sheldon Adelson and others?

Going to Haiti and Japan on humanitarian rescue missions to save hundreds is noble.

But a movie and a play are eternal.

Dim the house lights and win public opinion.