Kidnapped Israeli teens remembered at ceremonies in Triangle

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The Triangle's Jewish community remembered three kidnapped Israeli teenagers found dead in the West Bank.

RALEIGH -- The Triangle's Jewish community joined others across the country and around the world Wednesday to remember three kidnapped Israeli teenagers found dead in the West Bank.

More than 100 mourners gathered at Temple Beth Or in Raleigh. The Greater Raleigh-Cary Jewish Federation sponsored the memorial to help its congregants grieve.

"I think it's important for us to give them an avenue to show that grief and share that grief and reach out to their own families and the families of these boys," said Barry Schwartz with the Jewish Federation.

Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Fraenkel and Gilad Shaar -- 19, 16 and 16 years old respectively -- were kidnapped in the West Bank a few weeks ago while they were hitchhiking home. Their bodies were found in a field in the West Bank Monday.

The memorial featured several songs, prayers and scripture readings lead by the temple's rabbis.

Teens from Temple Beth Or also lighted memorial candles and read biographies for each victim.

Maytal Agasi, who just returned from a Jewish leadership camp in Israel, believes she and her peers benefit from the memorials.

"For a long time, things like this are going to be happening and we just have to come together and always make it as big of a deal as it is," said Agasi. "It shows how strong we are as people to overcome yet another thing."

Tensions in the region are mounting after the body of a Palestinian teenager was found in Jerusalem Wednesday.

Temple Beth Or Rabbi Lucy Dinner has heard several different responses to the tragedies from people in the community.

"There are those who are calling for retaliation. There are those who are calling for renewed and doubled efforts to reach for peace in any way that we can," said Dinner, "and there are many who are just struck with grief. They just can't believe the sadness."

Earlier in the evening, the Levin Jewish Community Center in Durham held a similar memorial.

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