(PIX11) — There is mounting concern for the safety of three teenage boys, including one from Brooklyn, who were abducted in Israel purportedly by members of the radical Hamas group.
About 500 members of the Upper West Side Jewish community held a prayer service Monday for the teens snatched while on their way home from school.
At the Manhattan Day School, worshippers chanted prayers that reflected calls for a quick and peaceful return of the teens.
“These boys are our brothers, our sons, our grandsons,” Rabbi Mordachai Besser said.
One of the boys is 16-year-old Naftali Frankel, an American whose family moved from Flatbush to Israel many years ago. In a video message, the boy’s mother, Racheli Frenkel, expressed her gratitude for the efforts being made to find her son and she called on everyone to continue with their prayers.
Friends, family members and strangers are sending their well-wishes to the boys’ heartbroken families.
“We want to show our concern and the message we are sending is that we are with you in a show of solidarity,” Rabbi Adam Mintz, who organized the prayer service, told PIX 11 News.
Chavie Kahn, a friend of the family who has a 16-year-old said, said this case hits home.
“This could have happened to anyone of us,” Kahn said. “We all have to come together to show our support.”
Secretary of State John Kerry has condemned the kidnappings. Israeli security forces have arrested at least 80 Palestinians in connection with the case.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asserts that Hamas is responsible. While Hamas has praised the kidnappings, it fell short of claiming responsibility for them.