Outpouring of support for families of Mount Meron victims

'I couldn't sleep for two nights', a fundraising organiser told the JC


2FKJHGA (210502) -- MOUNT MERON, May 2, 2021 (Xinhua) -- Candles are lit for the 45 victims killed in a stampede which took place during a festival celebrated on the eve of the Jewish holiday Lag BaOmer, at the site of the accident in Mount Meron, Israel, on May 1, 2021. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared Sunday as a national day of mourning following the disaster on Thursday night. (David Cohen/JINI via Xinhua)

Israelis and Jewish people across the world have rallied together in the wake of the Mount Meron tragedy to support the families of victims. 

“I couldn’t sleep for two nights,” said one of the UK-based organisers of an appeal to support the family of Rabbi Shmuel Tzvi Klagsbald, one of the 45 people killed in the stampede last month. 

Dozens of fundraisers - many based in the UK - are seeking to raise £180,000 for the 34-year-old's widow and eight children. Rabbi Klagsbald is thought to have some family in London. 

The Torah scholar was a “wonderful husband and father” and he “was singular in his charitable endeavors”, reads a tribute on the CharityExtra appeal, to launch on Saturday evening.

“We all want to do something,” the organiser said, speaking anonymously. “It’s a tragedy that affects every Jewish person because Jewish communities feel connected.”

Over in Israel, the public soon stepped in, with more than 2,000 people volunteering to donate blood the day after the tragedy and the local airline El Al offering to bring immediate family members based abroad to Israel for free. 
The Jewish Agency is also doing its bit by delivering emergency grants to families with money donated by Keren Hayesod and the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.

Therapist and travel firm owner Moshe Hendel Feiglin, meanwhile, has offered to take children affected by the deadly stampede on a four-hour desert trip at the weekend.  

“It will be a combination of nature exploring, meditation, dip in maayan and a light picnic,” he wrote on Facebook, adding the response highlighted “the need for this kind of healing.”

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