Female students from Bnei Akiva’s branch in Itamar have written dozens of support letters to the students of the Otzar Hatorah school in Toulouse, France, where a recent terror attack claimed the lives of a teacher, Rabbi Yonatan Sandler, and three children. The special project took place in honor of Israel’s Memorial Day, in which both fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism are remembered.
Emunah Zeitoun of Bnei Akiva in Itamar told Arutz Sheva on Tuesday that the youth of Itamar, having experienced the brutal murders of five members of the Fogel family just over a year ago, can identify with and strengthen the children of Toulouse.
“The residents of Itamar feel the special partnership and the understanding that Jews are murdered in the world today just because they are Jews and no matter where they live,” she said. “Two months after the attack in Itamar, a delegation of youth from Itamar visited the World Bnei Akiva organization in France, together with Tamar Fogel, so we already have an established relationship with them.”
Zeitoun added that writing letters of consolation to the Toulouse children has also strengthened the Bnei Akiva students themselves.
“They asked them to come to Israel and told them they love them,” she said. “They also wrote them that G-d gives them the power to be strong and overcome the tragedy.”
Eva Sandler, the widow of Rabbi Yonatan Sandler who also lost two of her young children during the Toulouse massacre, recently said she would be coming to Israel to attend the Memorial Day ceremony planned for the plaza of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem.
Each year, a torch is lit in memory of Jews murdered in anti-Semitic incidents and terror attacks by victims' relatives, or those who survived attacks themselves. This year the Sandler family accepted the Jewish Agency's invitation to light the torch in Jerusalem.