The mothers of the three kedoshim HY”D; Mrs. Iris Yifrach [mother of Eyal], Mrs. Bat Galim Shaar [mother of Gilad], and Mrs. Racheli Frenkel [mother of Naftali] have a clear message for the tzibur, to look one another in the eyes, take a deep breath and try to bring about achdus between us.

In their message to Am Yisrael, the three mothers point out “It is our responsibility” and that it does not matter if one is secular, dati leumi or chareidi, we are all responsible to attempt to bridge the gaps that divide us. One’s political orientation does not matter — we need achdus. This is the message the women are spreading as they are recipients of the Jerusalem Unity Prize for their efforts to unite the nation during their most difficult and painful experience.

The prize’s website describes the nature of the award:

The Jerusalem Unity Prize in Memory of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali is a joint initiative between the families of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel, the three teens kidnapped and murdered by terrorists in the summer of 2014, together with the Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat and Gesher.

The award acknowledges the efforts of organizations and individuals in Israel and the Diaspora who actively work to advance unity throughout Jewish communities and Israeli society.

Award applicants must prove how their actions are instrumental in advancing mutual respect for others amongst the Jewish people. The initiatives presented by applicants should be critical both in times of crisis and in daily life, as well as relevant over extended periods of time and for large segments of the population within Jewish and Israeli society. Unity is a universal ideal that has no geographic boundaries and we are proud to welcome applicants from Israel and around the world.

The underlying goal and vision of the prize is to acknowledge the efforts and accomplishments of those who work to advance the critical importance of Jewish unity, and inspire tolerance and mutual respect across the Jewish world —promoting acceptance of those who think, act or live differently.

Throughout Jewish history, the ideals of equality and unity have been central to our national and personal identities. The Jerusalem Unity Prize in Memory of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali was born out of tragedy but is inspired by belief in a better future. This remarkable initiative reminds us that regardless of our challenges – there will always be far more that unites us than divides us.


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