Photo Credit: Public Poster during search for missing teens
Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel: three Israeli teens kidnapped and murdered on June 12, 2014 by Hamas terrorists in Gush Etzion.

Classmates of Gilad’s and Naftali’s class from Makor Haim Yeshiva, joined by their teacher Mordechai Cohen and head of the yeshiva Rabbi Dov Zinger, decided to commemorate their friends’ memory by building a drinking fountain at the nature preserve. Water, like life, flows, bringing growth and happiness. They built the drinking fountain over the course of the year. Every week members of the class came for a morning of work until the fountain was completed and dedicated on the anniversary of the abduction. Kol Hakavod (Kudos) for the tenacity, the dedication and the hard work!

· The eighth grade from the Kiryat Arba ulpana came for a morning of work in the forest

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· 50 female soldiers, deputy operation officers, visited the nature preserve and heard a talk by the founders of the site

· 700 members of B’nei Akiva from Gush Etzion came for an evening of learning, entitled “Love your neighbor as yourself” with the participation of the head of the Gush Etzion Council Davidi Perl and head of Bnei Akiva Dani Hirshberg

* Mazal Tov! The friends of Oz veGaon celebrated the ceremony of Sheva brachot- the seven wedding blessings- for Amiad and Bat El Katsover – taking part in the event were Brigade Commander Amit Yamin, Rabbi Baruch Efrati, Rabbi Shlomo Kimchi, Rabbi Tomer Karazi – people from Migdal Oz and people from the Zionist Midrasha, who all blessed the new couple with a wish for continual building.

Since we established the Oz veGaon Nature Preserve one year ago, on the day that the murder of the young men became known, around 15,000 youths from areas throughout the Land and even from abroad came for the educational activities in the forest. Students from various schools of all ages came, along with members of youth movements, yeshiva students, young women from ulpanas, members of military preparatory schools, religious and secular, native Israelis as well as new immigrants, joined by teachers , rabbis and educators.

Dozens of groups have already signed up for activities at the preserve in the approaching summer season.

Turning the place, 500 meters from the place where the youths were abducted and killed, into an active educational site bustling with life, is the best way to memorialize the youths.

They left us a clear will and testament: continue to invest in the youth and instill in them a love for the People and the Land with unity and tolerance.

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