Activities honor memory of Ezra Schwartz


Ezra SchwartzEzra Schwartz

Terrorism in Israel hit close to home Nov. 19 when Ezra Schwartz was killed by a Palestinian gunman in the West Bank. The 18-year-old yeshiva student from Sharon, Massachusetts, graduated in 2015 from the Maimonides School near Boston and was a counselor at Camp Yavneh in New Hampshire. He was spending a gap year in Israel, studying at Yeshivat Ashreinu and performing community service.

On Nov. 23, the New England Patriots held a moment of silence to honor him prior to their “Monday Night Football” victory over the Buffalo Bills.

Schwartz was shown on the large video screens at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, wearing a Patriots jersey as the public address announcer spoke.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who is Jewish, stood in silence on the sidelines during the tribute.

Schwartz was buried Nov. 22 in Sharon. At his funeral, reportedly attended by 1,000 mourners, story after story told by family members and his Maimonides School teacher and baseball coach recalled him as a loyal Patriots fan who proudly wore the team’s jerseys and caps.

More than 7,000 people from around the world also viewed the service from Temple Sinai in Sharon as it was broadcast over the Internet.

The previous night, hundreds attended a memorial ceremony for Schwartz at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv before his body was repatriated to Boston.

In Providence, Schwartz is remembered by many who knew him. At Congregation Beth Sholom, teens were given an opportunity to talk with a Jewish Family Service KESHER social worker.

At Brown RISD Hillel, staff was available to students who felt they needed  to talk.

On Nov. 25, all learning in all grades at Providence Hebrew Day School  was dedicated in memory of Schwartz. Earlier in the week, students from the New England Academy of Torah made shiva visits as a group.

 – With reports from JTA and The Jewish Voice staff.