Family of yeshiva student Ezra Schwartz visits site where he was killed


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The parents and four siblings of Ezra Schwartz visited the West Bank spot where the American yeshiva student was killed by a Palestinian terrorist.

On Sunday, Ruth and Ari Schwartz of Sharon, Massachusetts, and their children saw the traffic junction in Gush Etzion where the minivan in which Ezra, 18, and several other yeshiva students were riding on the way to a volunteer project was shot at during a Palestinian terror attack.

“I just knew that I needed to come to Israel,” Ruth Schwartz told The Jerusalem Post. “I just felt sad that he is not with us, and I was not here with him when it happened.”

The family also visited the Oz VeGaon Nature Preserve in Gush Etzion, where Ezra had volunteered. They attended a ceremony at the park to mark the completion of a new trail, part of an area dedicated in the teen’s memory.

The park was established last year in memory of Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Fraenkel and Gilad Shaar, teenagers who were kidnapped in June 2014 by Palestinians from a traffic junction in Gush Etzion and later killed by their captors. The area had been a neglected forest filled with garbage before being converted into a nature reserve by the right-wing Women in Green organization.

The Schwartzes’ visit comes five weeks after Ezra was killed on Nov. 18.

Ari Schwartz said the family has felt a “tremendous amount of support” from people in their community, as well as Jews across the United States and around the world.

Recommended from JTA