Time Square billboard generates support for murdered Israeli teens

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — A billboard in Times Square in memory of the three kidnapped and murdered Israeli teens has generated support for their families.

The billboard originally was posted to call for the safe return of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach, who were abducted from a junction in Gush Etzion south of Jerusalem on July 12.

After the discovery of the teens’ bodies on June 30, the billboard was changed to read: “We join the families and all of Israel in mourning the tragic loss of these innocent boys.”

The ad airs for 15 seconds twice every hour and will remain up for two more weeks, according to the Algemeiner website.

Rabbi Dovid Cohen of Young Israel of the West Side, which funded the billboard, said that people from around the world have reached out to him due to the advertisement, including the Jewish former governor of Hawaii, Linda Lingle.

He told the news website that the synagogue had raised $30,000 from congregants and private donors which was donated to the Koby Mandell Foundation, an Israeli organization which supports family members who have lost loved ones to terror.

The rabbi said the Fraenkel family had been told of the billboard and reportedly derived a great deal of strength from it and thanked the synagogue.

“I think it did serve a purpose that was positive,” the rabbi told the Algemeiner.