(JTA) — Ezra Schwartz, who was killed in a West Bank terrorist attack in November 2015, was inducted posthumously into Alpha Epsilon Pi, a Jewish fraternity, at Rutgers University.
The induction ceremony was held Sunday night, at the start of Yom Hazikaron in Israel, which memorializes fallen soldiers as well as victims of terror.
Also at the ceremony his father, Ari, was inducted as an honorary brother of the Rho Upsilon chapter of the fraternity, which has chapters throughout the United States and around the world.
Ari Schwartz said the ceremony “represents who he could have been,” the news website MyCentralJersey reported.
“He could have been sitting here. He could have been roommates with one of you,” Schwartz said of his 18-year-old son.
“It means a lot. It really does. It seems like the entire world has reached out to us in order to support us through this tragedy. AEPi’s gesture today is another example of that. I also very much appreciate the gesture of inducting me into AEPi as well. Now I have something else I share in common with Ezra.”
Ezra Schwartz, from Sharon, Massachusetts, was on a gap year studying at a yeshiva in Israel. He was to start business school at Rutgers, in central New Jersey, in the fall of 2016.
He was killed when a Palestinian terrorist opened fire near Alon Shvut in the Etzion bloc on a minivan full of students and teachers from Yeshivat Ashreinu in Beit Shemesh, who were volunteering to clear a nearby park. Three others were killed in the attack.
The gunman, Mohammed Abed Odeh Harub, was sentenced to four life terms in prison.