Sacramento faith groups respond to Israeli teens' murder

Published: Wednesday, Jul. 2, 2014 - 9:21 am
Last Modified: Sunday, Jul. 6, 2014 - 2:24 pm

Local faith groups are finding ways to participate in the international dialogue surrounding the high profile murder of three Israeli teenagers and subsequent Israeli military response in the Gaza Strip.

Tuesday night, the Jewish Federation of the Sacramento Region hosted a memorial service for the teens, Eyal Yefrach, Naftali Fraenkel and Gil-Ad Shaar, whose bodies were found Monday in the West Bank after they had been missing for 18 days. On Wednesday morning, interfaith leaders will hold a press conference condemning Israel’s bombing of targets in the Gaza Strip since Tuesday. Gaza is controlled by the Palestinian group Hamas, which Israeli leaders have blamed for orchestrating the murders.

The conference, at 9:30 a.m. at the U.S. Courthouse, will include representatives from the Jewish Voice for Peace, American Muslims for Palestine and various local churches. The groups are involved in the Sacramento Regional Coalition for Palestinian Rights.

“We’re trying to bring some attention to the context of when everybody’s so upset that the three kids were killed, and understandably so,” said David Mandel, a member of the Jewish Voice for Peace. “That should never happen to anyone. But the context is many, many more Palestinian kids are being kidnapped and killed and arrested.”

The Jewish Federation service at the Shepard Garden and Art Center auditorium offered prayers and tributes in memory of the slain teenagers. A performance by the Tzofim Israeli Teen Scouts Friendship Caravan, a group of ten Israeli teens traveling around North America for the summer, followed the service.

“These teen scouts are far from home, far from their families, and far from their country, which is mourning this tragic loss,” said the Jewish Federation and the Jewish Community Relations Council in a press release.

Call The Bee’s Isabelle Taft, (916) 321-1101.

Read more articles by Isabelle Taft

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