The mothers of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel, who were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas terrorists in the summer of 2014, will be honored with lighting one of the 12 ceremonial torches during the official ceremony on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem kicking off Israel’s Independence Day celebrations this year.
The theme of this year’s ceremony is the “Israeli spirit,” which led to the selection of the three mothers, Rachel Frenkel, Bat-Galim Shaer and Iris Yifrach, who have been active in promoting national unity.
The three established the Unity Prize award recognizing individuals and organizations who contribute to unity among Jewish communities and Israeli society.
This is the first time since the establishment of the state that three people are honored with lighting a torch together.
Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev accepted the recommendation of the public committee to choose the three mothers and stated that they “symbolize the courage of spirit of those who lost the most precious of all and decided, only because of the spirit, to bring the strength of unity to our hearts.”
“The three mothers chose not to be shattered by the force of the waves of crisis, bereavement and loss. They, our heroines of spirit, chose instead of bereavement, to unite the ranks and open a gate of love of Israel in memory of their loved ones, our loved ones,” she added.
She said she is “proud of the decision to choose the mothers, who will light together a single torch, which will unite the ranks and elevate the spirit of unity in our people.”