N.J. yeshiva student last seen in Jerusalem Forest is missing

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A haredi Orthodox yeshiva student from Lakewood, N.J., was reported missing after hiking in the Jerusalem Forest.

Aaron Sofer, 23, was last seen at noon Friday when he and a friend began climbing down a steep incline on a hiking trail, according to the Yeshiva World website.

The friend called police several hours later and reported Sofer missing.

The rescue organizations ZAKA and Ichud Hatzalah, and a police canine unit searched for Sofer over Shabbat. Volunteers, mostly haredi, began searching on Saturday night and Sunday, according to Yeshiva World.

On Sunday, the search spread to include the Bayit Vegan, Hadassah and Ein Kerem neighborhoods overlooking the forest.