Hundreds gather to remember Dee family, a year after their murders

Rabbi Leo Dee dedicated a new events hall to his wife Lucy


Some 700 people gathered in Efrat in Gush Etzion on Sunday to commemorate the lives of Lucy Dee and her daughters Maia and Rina, who were murdered by terrorists one year ago.

On April 7, 2023, Lucy Dee and her daughters were ambushed as they traveled on Route 57 to Tiberias to celebrate the second half of the Passover holiday with family from overseas. Maia and Rina were killed, and Lucy was critically wounded, dying two days later.

The events hall dedicated to Lucy’s memory was filled to capacity on the first anniversary of their deaths, coinciding with the six-month anniversary of Hamas’s October 7 massacre. The new synagogue social hall dedicated to her is nearing completion, with the aroma of fresh cement lingering in the air. A private dedication ceremony was held two hours prior to the memorial event.

Named “Shirat Lucy” (Lucy’s Song), the events hall was constructed above the Mishkan Tziporah synagogue through contributions from donors in Efrat and around the world. Given Lucy’s love for music and dancing, the social hall was deemed a fitting tribute to her memory.

In his eulogy, Lucy’s husband, Rabbi Leo Dee, remarked, “This hall, Shirat Lucy, is dedicated to your memory. You loved to dance at simchahs. Although you won’t be dancing at your children’s weddings, your presence will be felt, with a large picture of you adorning the entrance.”

Reflecting on Lucy’s name, which means “light” in Latin, Rabbi Dee highlighted the multitude of projects initiated in her honor over the past year, bringing light and kindness into the world. He spoke of a 35 per cent increase in Israeli organ donations, which was attributed to their decision to donate Lucy’s organs. Among the attendees was a woman whose life was saved by Lucy’s heart.

The evening’s guest speaker, Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi, commended Lucy’s surviving daughters, Keren and Tali, for their commitment to preserving their mother’s and sisters’ legacies through acts of kindness.

Last year, April 10 was designated “Dees Day,” with Israelis and others displaying flags in solidarity. Reflecting on the journey since those dark days, Rabbi Dee has emerged as a prominent advocate for Israel on the international stage, offering words of inspiration and hope.

The evening concluded with a musical reflection led by internationally renowned musician Rabbi Shlomo Katz. Attendees were invited to join in singing, fostering a sense of unity and hope as they reflected on Rabbi Dee’s teachings and the enduring legacy of Lucy, Maia and Rina.

Close friend Elana Abelow Kronenberg summed up the feelings of many at the memorial for JNS, “Lucy, Maia, and Rina, Hyd, are remembered each and every day, and as more time passes, the void is even greater.”

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