On behalf of our Lehigh Valley Jewish community, we join with our brothers and sisters across the Jewish world in mourning the tragic and senseless loss of Naftali Fraenkel (16) z"l, Gilad Shaar (16) z"l, and Eyal Yifrach (19) z"l.
We express our deepest condolences to their families and loved ones. There are no words to describe this devastating loss of three young lives. We condemn in the strongest possible terms the terrorists involved in the senseless murder of three innocent teenagers, and pray that justice will be served.
After the kidnapping, we were unified in prayer and hope for the teens' safe return. Now, tragically, we are unified in grief. Our hearts are one with the people of Israel as we stand in solidarity with Israel, especially during this difficult time.
On July 2, nearly 300 people attended a community-wide memorial service at the Jewish Community Center of Allentown, coordinated by the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley and the Lehigh Valley Jewish Clergy Group. Speakers included Yonit Waldner Peleg of Yoav, Israel, and Yaron Sideman, consul general of Israel to the mid-Atlantic region.
We pray that peace may come to Israel and to the entire Middle East for the sake of all who cherish life.
May the memories of these innocents be a blessing and their families be comforted among the mourners all who mourn.