This afternoon, the world learned of the killings of the three teenagers in Israel: Naftali Frenkel, 16; Gilad Shaar, 16; and Eyal Yifrach, 19. Our prayers and thoughts go out to their families and to all who knew and loved them.
In a way, their loss is one that we all share. Each of us came to know Naftali, Gilad, and Eyal in the last two weeks through the global campaign #BringBackOurBoys. Their story and captivity brought people together from many backgrounds and nations to support their release. It was indeed an unprecedented display of emotion and community not seen in some time.
However, the fact remains that these young men were abducted and struck down for no reason. They were not soldiers but Jewish students who loved Israel, desired to learn Torah, and had their entire lives before them.
In tribute to their lasting memory, Jewish National Fund will create gardens to honor Naftali z"l, Gilad z"l and Eyal z"l.
In the meantime, we will honor the customs of our forefathers and grieve with the families who have lost so much. Our prayers are with them all.
May the families be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion and Yerushalayim.
May the families know no more sorrow.
Jeffrey E. Levine, President, Jewish National Fund
Russell F. Robinson, CEO, Jewish National Fund