Nine days after Denver Jewry came together to pray and express hope for the return of the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers, some 450 members of the community reconvened to memorialize and say kaddish for Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Fraenkel.
The memorial program, Wednesday, July 2, was held at BMH-BJ, organized by Cantor Joel Lichterman of BMH-BJ, and co sponsored by JEWISHcolorado, BMH-BJ, JCRC, ADL, AIPAC, Rocky Mountain Rabbinical Council, Loup JCC, CAJE, JNF, J Street and Feldman Mortuary.
As attendees entered the synagogue, they were asked to sign a guest book much like at a funeral. People were also given the opportunity to light candles in memory of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali.
Cantor Lichterman set the tone for the program in his opening remarks which reflected the pain of worldwide Jewry at the murder of the Jewish teenagers.
RMRC Immediate Past President Rabbi Bruce Dollin of HEA spoke of the tragedy of teenagers being killed, and he included the Arab youth Muhammad Abu Khdeir who was found murdered on that morning in the Jerusalem Forest. Rabbi Dollin spoke of the four losses.
Israel Consul General David Siegel (via teleconference), JCC Israel Shaliach Yoni Alon, Rabbi Hillel Goldberg, executive editor of the Intermountain Jewish News and JEWISHcolorado CEO and President Doug Seserman delivered impassioned remarks.
Inspirational readings were delivered by JNF Regional Director Boaz Meir and JCRC Chair Jacki Cooper Melmed.
Elaine Lichterman read an essay by Israeli author Naomi Ragen.
Rabbi Richard Rheins of Temple Sinai led the reading the 23rd Psalm.
The memorial prayer was chanted by Cantor Lichterman, prior to a communal kaddish and the singing of “Hatikvah.”