American-Israeli missing in India


NEW YORK (JTA) — A search is underway for a dual Israeli-American citizen missing in India’s mountainous Pervati Valley region.

Amichai Steinmetz, 24, of Ma’aleh Halevona, set out from the village of  Kiriganga on a day trip July 22 and hasn’t been seen since.

"He went with a friend and the friend went one way and he went the other," Amichai’s grandfather Sol Steinmetz, a resident of New Rochelle, N.Y., said. "He only took with him his tefilin and a few things and that was five days ago. He had a cell phone."

Concerns over the whereabouts of Steinmetz grew after he failed to return to the village or contact his family on Friday, as he has done regularly every week since he left Israel about six months ago.

The Israeli consulate, the Chabad House in the nearby town of Manali and the Harel Insurance group, an Israeli insurance company specializing in search-and-rescue abroad, are currently coordinating efforts with local authorities to find him. reported that rescuers in recent days have benefited from a respite in the torrential rains typical of northern India during the monsoon season.

The Web site added that an anonymous donor has pledged an award of 100,000 rupees, or about $2,000, for anyone who locates the missing man.

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