Police probing death of Birthright Israel participant from Ukraine, 22


(JTA) — A 22-year-old Birthright Israel participant from Kharkov, Ukraine, reportedly was electrocuted after climbing an electric pole in the northern Israeli town of Shlomi.

Israeli police were expected to finish their investigation of Tuesday’s incident the following day, the Times of Israel reported. Birthright’s office in New York was said to be drafting a statement for release.

JTA has reported two other fatalities in the 13-year history of the program, which has provided free 10-day trips to Israel for 300,000 participants from some 50 countries.

In November 2010, Michael Kellogg, 24, of Virginia died in his sleep while on a program for young professionals. In 2000, Joseph Ferraro, 20, of Rochester, N.Y., died from bacterial meningitis shortly after returning from the program.

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