Our Community Mourns for Three Israeli Teens

The horrible news that we’ve been hoping against for weeks, but dreading all the same, came to pass yesterday. The bodies of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Fraenkel were found yesterday in a village north of Hebron.


Here are some of the reactions from our community:

Joint statement from the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul, the Minneapolis Jewish Federation and the Minnesota Rabbinical Association (MRA)

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Minneapolis, MN – The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul, the Minneapolis Jewish Federation and the Minnesota Rabbinical Association (MRA) condemn the murder of the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers, one of whom is a U.S. citizen.

Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) issued the following statement today on behalf of the JCRC, the Jewish Federations and the MRA in response to this horrific murder:

“The Jewish Communities’ of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota thoughts and prayers are with the families of the three Israeli teenage students who were murdered by their abductors. We mourn the deaths of Eyal Yifrach, 19, Naftali Fraenkel (a U.S. citizen), 16, and Gilad Shaar, 16. May their memories be a blessing.

“We stand in solidarity with the people of Israel – particularly the families of these murdered teenagers – in condemning these horrific murders. The safety of our children, and we regard these Israeli teenagers as our own, is of paramount concern and we are devastated that once again they have become victims of terrorism. During difficult times like this we are reminded of the importance of a global Jewish network to support our extended Jewish family in Israel and across the world.

“If, as Israel has claimed, Hamas is responsible for this heinous act, then, as per the recent unity agreement, the Palestinian Authority (PA) government must be accountable as well. Instead of joining in a unity agreement with terrorists, Palestinian leadership should be negotiating with Israel for peace.

“We stand behind Israel as its military conducts operations consistent with the gravity of this crime.”

Steve Silberfarb, CEO, Minneapolis Jewish Federation:

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As a global Jewish community we prayed for their safe return home. Now, as a global Jewish community, we will shift our prayers to those of mourning and bringing to justice those responsible for these murders.

Rabbi Fredman and AISH Minnesota:

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Aish Minnesota joins in the mourning of the loss of the 3 teenagers whose crime was none other than being born Jewish.

Please pray, and study in the merit of our lost brothers: Yaakov Naftali ben Rachel Devorah, Gilad Michal ben Bat-Galim, and Eyal ben Iris Teshurah.

May Hashem comfort the mourners among the mourners of Zion, and may Hashem grant an end to our suffering, our pain and our tears.

Beth Jacob Congregation:

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We offer our condolences to the families of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar, and Eyal Yifrah, whose bodies were found Monday night (Israeli time) north of Hebron.

Rep. Erik Paulsen (MN-3):

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I am heartbroken to hear the tragic news that Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-ad Shaar, and Eyal Yifrach have been confirmed dead. My thoughts and prayers go out to their families during this painful time. It is difficult to find words that adequately describe the depravity of kidnapping and murdering innocent teenagers. The perpetrators of this barbaric and cowardly act must be found and brought to justice. The international community should demand cooperation from the Palestinian Authority to assist the Israeli government and find those responsible for this act of terror.

Rabbi Jeremy Fine, Temple of Aaron:

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Today we mourn the loss of three innocent Israeli boys, one of whom was an American citizen. We mourn with their parents, with our Homeland, and with our own community. This is not the first time Hamas and others have shown the world the truth about what is going on in the Middle East and it certainly will not be the last. And the world, and even worse our Americans and American Jews, ask Israel to be tolerant of evil’s doings. The world asks us to give up land, security, and have patience. I dare these people to look the parents of these boys in the eyes and share their ideas of peace. I will stand by Israel in its fight against its enemies and cry out to God for safety of our people and the comprehension of the world. I pray and believe that Israel will do what’s right and just. I pray no civilians are hurt on either side.

I pray that the Jewish people everywhere understand the seriousness of the world’s hatred. I pray that the United States government and the world can clearly see what is happening in Israel and quickly, without regret, side with the people of Israel. I pray that we can all have the privilege of hugging our children every night as they go to bed safely and wake up again smiling.

Rep. Michelle Bachmann (MN-6):

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The tragic death of the three kidnapped Israeli children Eyal Yifrach, Gil-ad Shaar and Naftali Fraenkel—an American citizen—who were savagely murdered by Hamas terrorists serves as a reminder of the threats Israelis face every day. I offer my deep condolences to their families and to the people of Israel during this time of mourning.