Today marks the 107th birthday of our beloved Young Judaea and while we are grateful that Judaeans have seen and experienced so much joy around Israel throughout the years, we must remember the sadness and pain as well. So, as our Year-Coursers return from Israel and our Machon campers look forward to their summer in Israel, we must come together and stand with Israel after the heart-wrenching tragedy that occurred on the night of June 8th.

It was a regular, quiet night at The Sarona Market Complex in Tel Aviv, where many people in Israel go to shop and dine. Without any warning, two gunmen opened fire in a restaurant, sending people scrambling to find safety. Four Israelis were killed in the attack, and five others were wounded and sent to the hospital for treatment. The Israeli police forces immediately surveyed the area to find the attackers. One was shot by the police and is currently receiving medical attention, and the other surrendered. Both suspects were identified as Palestinians. The police have not been able to identify a motive yet, but the case is still being investigated.

This attack is not the only of its kind; it follows a series of similar random acts of violence towards Israelis in the past year. Each incident leaves Israel and its supporters shocked and concerned. We hope that sharing the horror of this event will compel the rest of the world to stand in solidarity with Israel. Although we may feel distant in America, the members of Young Judaea can help by spreading the horrific news of this attack. People outside of the sphere of Pro-Israel influence need to hear about this event and mourn with Israel as the whole world did with Paris after the attack in November.

In times of loss and sadness such as this, it is important to stand together as one community. Jews and non-Jews, Zionists, and people that don’t necessarily support the State of Israel, all need to recognize that the victims are innocent, and like any human beings, deserve compassion from the global community. On behalf of the National Mazkiriot of 2015-2016, 2016-2017 and all of the members of Young Judaea, we hope that there will soon be an end to the frequent attacks, and stand firmly with Israel as it works to attain peace.

Chag Shavuot Samaeach and Shabbat Shalom,

National Mazkiriot ‘15-’16 and ‘16-’17

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