At Least Six U.S. Citizens and Two Canadians Among 45 People Dead in Mount Meron Stampede in Israel

A photo of Nachman Doniel Morris, a student who died in the stampede at Mount Meron in Israel on Lag b’Omer, was shared on social media. (Twitter via JTA)

At least six US citizens and two Canadians were among the 45 people crushed to death early Friday in the stampede at Mount Meron in northern Israel.

The Americans included 19-year-old yeshiva students from northern New Jersey and Monsey, New York, as well as a 13-year-old boy who had moved to Israel with his family.

The New Jersey student, Nachman Doniel Morris, had flown to Israel in September to study at Yeshivat Shaalvim in central Israel, after the Israeli government made special provisions to allow yeshiva students to come to the country despite draconian restrictions on travel because of the pandemic.

Morris was in the crowd of tens of thousands that gathered at Mount Meron to mark the Lag B’Omer holiday Thursday night when a stampede on a crowded ramp led to the deadliest civilian disaster in Israel’s history.

“The Morris family are pillars of the Bergenfield-Teaneck community,” said a neighbor. “I have known [Nachman] since he was six. He was a rising star as a student in the Jewish world. He was a sweet boy. No one had anything negative to say about him.”

Morris was a graduate of the Marsha Stern Talmudic Academy in Washington Heights. The neighbor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the teenager has two younger siblings who live at home. Their father, Aryeh, is the comptroller for a local company.

Also killed was Yosef Amram Tauber, 19, of Monsey, a student at the Brisk yeshiva. A relative said that he left for Israel to attend the yeshiva for the first time last week — after the country again relaxed COVID-19 restrictions.

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SOURCE: The Times of Israel