Contact: Roslyn Singer
Director of Communications, OU Advocacy
The leadership of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America issued the following statement today:
Our hearts are broken. We in the American Orthodox Jewish community have felt deep grief with each and every terrorist attack on innocent Israelis these last two months. But today, we mourn the loss of Ezra Schwartz—an 18-year old who was in Israel for a post high school year of study and service—a coming of age rite that pervades our community.
Terrorists murdered Ezra as he was delivering care packages to soldiers and visiting the memorial to three Israeli sons murdered by terrorists last year. He held great promise for his family, community and the Jewish people.
We also grieve the loss of Rabbi Yaakov Don, also murdered in yesterday’s attack in Gush Etzion, and the two other innocent Israelis attacked in Tel Aviv yesterday, Aharon Yesaev and Reuven Aviram, as they departed daily prayers. We extend our sincere condolences to the family of Shadi Arafa, a resident of Hevron, who was killed in the Gush Etzion attack as well.
The Orthodox Union extends its deepest sympathies to the families of the victims. We pray our land will see no more innocent blood spilled.
Lastly, we hope that while political leaders, media outlets and people across the world are understandably paying attention to the large scale terror campaign being waged by ISIS, they not lose sight that the same terrors are occurring in Israel on a regular basis—with similar loss of innocent life—and require support for Israel and her resolve to defeat the terrorists confronting the Jewish state.