NEW YORK, Racheli Fraenkel, the mother of Naftali Fraenkel, z”l, and Ofir Shaer, the father of Gilad Shaer, z”l, the parents of two of the Israeli teens who, along with Eyal Yifrach, were murdered by Hamas last summer preceding Operation Protective Edge, will join a UJA-Federation of New York event this Thursday celebrating the Jerusalem Unity Prize, with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Emeritus Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom.
The evening of Jewish Unity, at 6 p.m. this Thursday, at UJA-Federation headquarters, 130 E. 59th St., will be dedicated to the unity prize, which was conceived in partnership with the families of the three boys and the Jerusalem-based organization Gesher as a way to perpetuate the spirit of unity across Israel and around the world during the days following the boys’ kidnapping.
“We feel an obligation to ensure that the personal pain that we have experienced be channeled for the betterment of people all over the world and this is what we all hope this prize will accomplish,” said Shaer.
“Out of the intense pain of the boys’ tragic deaths came remarkable unity, in large part due to the strength and leadership exhibited by their families,” added Barkat, who has been one of the driving forces behind the Unity Prize. “We know that unity is a central value in our identity as a people and this prize will afford us the chance to advance these ideals across Israel and around the world.”
The Jerusalem Unity Prize will be presented in three separate categories, each with a prize of up to 100,000 NIS ($25,000). A committee chaired by Barkat, the parents of the three boys, and dignitaries from Israel and the Diaspora will choose the winners.
Eric. S. Goldstein, CEO, UJA-Federation of New York said: “UJA-Federation of New York is honored to support the Jerusalem Unity Prize, which seeks to harness and perpetuate the unprecedented level of unity expressed in Israel and in Jewish communities across the globe after the tragic events of last summer. This initiative is distinguished in its goal of promoting mutual respect to strengthen the bonds that unite us as a people.”
For more details about the unity prize, please visit: http://www.unityprize.org/en.