European rabbis, congregants call for release of abducted teens

Cnaan Liphshiz

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (JTA) — Dozens of young rabbis serving in Europe gathered at an Amsterdam Holocaust monument to protest the abduction of three Israeli youths.

The rabbis, members of the Young Rabbis Forum of the Rabbinical Centre of Europe, gathered on Wednesday at the Hollandsche Schouwburg, a former theater turned commemoration site because the Nazis used it as a central dispatch point of Jews to death camps shortly after their invasion of the Netherlands in 1940.

Advertisement: The Grande at Chesterfield

Also attending was executive director of the Netherlands-based organization Christians for Israel, Roger van Oordt.

The rabbis carried a large banner reading “#Bring Back Our Boys” and a Dutch-language translation in reference to Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel, both 16, and Eyal Yifrach, 19, who were last seen on Dec. 12 at a hitchhiking post near Gush Etzion, a Jewish settlement bloc in the West Bank, and whom Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said have been kidnapped by terrorists presumed to be Palestinian.

The gathering in Amsterdam was part of a number of activities by Jewish communities in Europe on behalf of the three youths.

France’s Consistore, the Jewish community’s body responsible for religious services, called on congregants to convene at Paris’ Grande Synagogue de la Victoire on Thursday for a mass prayer for the youths’ safe return and instructed synagogue throughout France to say a special prayer for their release.

In Munich, emissaries of the Torah MiTzion movement organized a rally in Munich featuring similar signs at the city’s Marienplatz, the news site reported.