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JNF Forest in Israel to Memorialize Jews Killed in Istanbul Carnage

The San Francisco Regional Council of the Jewish National Fund will establish a 10,000-tree forest in Israel in memory of the 21 Turkish Jews killed last Saturday by unidentified Arab terrorists who attacked the Neve Shalom Synagogue in Istanbul during Shabbat services.

The establishment of the $50,000 forest was announced by Phillip Schaeffer, president of the S.F. Council.

Responding quickly to the tragedy, the San Francisco office took the lead in establishing the forest without waiting for a national JNF campaign, according to Stanley Bresh, director of JNF’s local office. The last national JNF campaign memorialized the seven American Challenger astronauts who died when their space craft blew up in January.

The memorial forest for the Turkish Jews will be located in JNF’s American Independence Park outside Jerusalem, where the Challenger memorial is, according to Bresh. He and Schaeffer both urged that other cities follow San Francisco’s lead in establishing forests in memory of the Turkish Jews.

Such action, Schaeffer said, will “show these and other terrorists that their mindless activities only strengthen our ties with our fellow Jews throughout the world.” He added: “Each act of terrorism must be followed by actions that show our support and determination for the survival of the State of Israel and that the terrorists’ cowardly acts only bind us as Jews.”

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