This article appeared in the June 27,
2014 Jewish Advocate.
rallies to show support for kidnapped Israeli teens
to the Advocate
was tight at a June 19 event organized in Brookline to
call for the safe return of three kidnapped Israeli youths.
week after the June 12 disappearance of three teenage Israeli boys,
Jewish community gathered for a vigil the evening of June 19 at
Congregation Kehillath Israelin Brookline.
thought it was important to pray for our boys in a community
gathering,” said Joyce The Voice (whose given name is Joyce Gail
Rokeach), a radio host and a teacher in the Medfordschools.
“We are taught that in times of trouble, we should come together to
pray and beg G-d for his mercy.”
at the event urged attendees to take to social media, by tweeting
comments from speakers, sharing images from Combined Jewish
Philanthropies’ (CJP) Facebook page, signing the Jewish Federations
of North America’s letter to the boys’ parents
keeping abreast of the news. They were also encouraged to follow
@CJPIsrael, the organization’s Twitter account.
assembled sang “Hatikva,” Israel’s
national anthem and chanted a special prayer for the kidnapped teens.
Excerpts from Psalms Chapters 121 and 130, which deal with watchful
waiting, asking for help, hope, mercy and redemption were also
three young men are our children, too, and we feel the fear that
their families feel,” said attendee Janet Stein, president of the
American Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors of Greater Boston.
“ Tonight’s vigil is one way to help get the word out. It is
important to band together to pray for their safe and quick return.”
The Boston Jewish
community, she continued, “is very strong, and in times of stress
and worry we come together in support of the people in harm’s way,
their families, and in support of each other. We prayed tonight that
all three boys are safely and quickly returned to their loved ones,
and we will continue to pray for them.”
Israeli security forces launched Operation Brother’s Keeper the day
after Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel disappeared
following their afterschool hitchhiking in the West Bank, 280
Palestinians had been detained. Hitchhiking is a common mode of
transportation in Israel.
to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the IDF, Shin Bet, police and
border police have been part of the rescue effort, but as of
the Brookline vigil, there was
no sign of life, nor any demands from kidnappers.
speakers at the event included the KehillathIsrael’s
rabbi, William Hamilton, Israeli Consul General to New England Yehuda
Yakov, Rabbi Elaine Zecher of Temple Israel in Boston,
CJP President Barry Schrage, Rabbi Benjamin Samuels of Congregation
Shaarei Tefillah and Jill Goldenberg of the Jewish Community
Relations Council of Greater Boston ( JCRC).
Anti-Defamation League (ADL), American Jewish Committee (AJC),
Consulate General of Israel to
New England, Israel-American Council, JCRC, and Kehillath Israel
joined CJP in calling for the safe return of the boys. “Boston’s
Jewish community stands with Israel; it always has and it always
will,” CJP President Barry Shrage said after the event. “A crime
committed against Israel’s children touches our community deeply.”