At least 4 Americans among the dead in Mount Meron disaster

At least four US citizens were among the 45 people crushed to death early Friday in the stampede at Mount Meron in northern Israel, the Foreign Ministry said Friday.

The ministry did not name the Americans, but a US Congressman and a major Jewish organization identified their constituents as among the fallen.

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that Israel was working to assist the families of the dead and to bring them to the country as soon as possible.

After speaking with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Joe Biden said the United States is working to gather information about American citizens who died or were hurt when the stampede occurred after midnight Thursday.

New York Rep. Mondaire Jones tweeted that he was “heartbroken” to learn that two of his constituents were among those killed. “My team and I are continuing to monitor the situation and stand ready to assist any [district] residents affected by this tragedy.”

Donny Morris (Courtesy)

The Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey tweeted that Bergenfield native Donny Morris was killed in the stampede. The 19-year-old was in Israel on a gap year program at Yeshiva Sha’alvim.

Also among the Americans victim so far identified in media reports were Rabbi Eliezer Tzvi Joseph of Kiryas Joel, Yosef Amram Tauber and Menachem Knoblowitz from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Borough Park.

Also killed was Shraga Gestetner, a Hasidic singer from Montreal who had been living in Monsey. Hundreds of strangers were at his funeral Friday after calls were issued for mourners to attend, as Gestetner had no immediate relatives in the country.

JTA contributed to this report.

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