Riverdale Shul Apologizes For Graphic Video


The Hebrew Institute of Riverdale is apologizing to its members after the Purim night screening of a video about a slain West Bank family that included graphic images.

“We deeply regret the terrible mistake we made in the video which we showed at the Bayit before Megillah reading on Saturday night,” wrote Rabbi Avi Weiss, Rabba Sarah Hurwitz and Associate Rabbi Steven Exler in an email obtained by The Jewish Week. The spiritual leaders explained that they had chosen a different video presentation to commemorate the members of the Fogel family who were killed in the settlement of Itamar on on March 11, but downloaded and screened another. “Once up, we made a second mistake: were truly remiss in not rising to stop the footage. We recognize the real and profound trauma and hurt this has caused children and adults in our Bayit, and we take personal responsibility.”

The staff said they would be available to parents and children to discuss the images, as would the congregation’s social worker.

Bloody crime-scene photos of some of the murdered family, who were stabbed during a Friday night home invasion in an apparent act of terrorism, were approved for release by relatives of the family. The images included the body of a three-year-old boy.