Saturday, February 29, 2020

Traveling to Jersey City to pay a shiva call to the Ferencz family seemed like the least we could do (and perhaps it was) but once we got there, we realized that they really appreciated the visitors from outside of their community and the expressions of achdut that were shared by hundreds of vistors. We spoke to Moshe’s father who told us how the outpouring of well wishers was what made Am Yisrael so special and they ushered us to the front to speak with Leah Mindel’s widower Moshe, the owner of the ill fated supermarket. “ You can never know how it feels...and I never did either before this tragedy,” he said. We asked how his children were doing and he told us that they were coping as best as possible but it will be a long process. He thanked us for coming and as we left, I felt that this is what happens in Israel so often when there is a terror attack. People from all over come to give support simply because we hurt when another Jew hurts. There are over 150 students in the boy’s and girl’s chassidic yeshiva in Jersey City and when school reopened on Monday, the rabbeim danced the children in to give them chizuk. On the rainy night that we visited there was only a police car and a television van parked in front of the boarded up store. “It will take weeks until the store can be rebuilt and arrangements have to be made to take care of the children after school,” Ferencz told us. The neighbors have always gotten along with the five year old Jersey City chassidic community. Let’s hope this tragedy brings everyone closer together.

By Steve Fox