Charlotte's Jewish Community Reels After Killings of Israeli Tee - myfoxcarolinas.com

Charlotte's Jewish Community Reels After Killings of Israeli Teens

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When tragedy strikes a world away, sometimes the only thing you can do and gather together and support each other. That holds true for the Jewish community after the killing of three Israeli teens.

"I mean, it's really physically painful...for all of us," said Susan Jacobs, Director of Education at Temple Beth El

Rabbi Jonathan Freirich says when Jews are targeted, they react as one family no matter where they live. "They're not soldiers, they are not combatants, they are not random targets. They were targeted merely because of their jewish identity and merely because of their vulnerability," he said.

He stressed that all 14 million Jews worldwide feel the pain of what is happening in Israel, and that the only way for his community to grieve and heal, is to do it together. So the Jewish Community Center in south Charlotte held a prayer service to provide a place for people to mourn and say their prayers as a family.

Susan Jacobs said, "There was a need in the community to come together, and have a memorial service and go through our tradition jewish mourning prayer so that we can begin to try and make some sense of what's going on and find a place to put it."

director of education at temple beth el susan jacobs gatherings like this one are crucial...

Rabbi Shlomo Cohen said that direction for those feeling lost in the face of tragedy is a vital part of the service.

"It's critical that we come together and especially for the members of this community to communicate and to hear from the jewish leaders in order to know what Judaism and what the Torah has to say about this tragic situation and how we should respond to it," he said.

For Jacobs, the most painful part knowing this isn't the end of the story. "The answer is there are going to be more and more deaths on both sides and more and more tragedy and more and more hatred and more and more mistrust, and it's so counterproductive and it's so far from where we pray that we could be," she said. 

Though the tragedy in Israel can make things seem hopeless, Rabbi Freirich hopes his community feels the opposite.

"There is work to be done. We can do it if we come together and we are thoughtful."

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