On September 11, 2012 the United States Embassy in Israel held a memorial service marking the 11 years since the World Trade Center attacks in New York City.
Rabbi Menachem Kutner, Director of Chabad Terror Victims Project opened the ceremony with a moving prayer for the souls of those who lost their lives and to comfort their bereaved families.
The ceremony took place at the Memorial for the World Trade Center Victims in Emek Ha’asazin (Cedars Valley) near Jerusalem. The memorial was established by the Jewish National Fund (JNF).
Among the dignitaries in attendance were American Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, and staff members from the Embassy, MK Isaac Herzog, JNF Chairman Mr. Efi Stenzler, ambassadors and foreign diplomats, defense officials, and representatives of five Israeli families whose loved ones were killed in the attack.
The opening ceremony was followed by a moment of silence during which the audience was asked to stand. Rabbi Kutner recited Psalm 121 on behalf of the victims and their families.
A spokeswoman from the American Embassy talked about CTVP’s extraordinary work on behalf of victims of terror throughout Israel. She noted that CTVP utilizes the resources of 290 Chabad Houses all over Israel and their emissaries, staff and volunteers to help meet the physical, emotional, spiritual and financial needs of the victims and families in Israel whose lives have been shattered by the horror of terror.
Ambassador Shapiro noted that there is no other place in the world like Israel that can understand the pain of terror attacks and he expressed solidarity and partnership with the United States.
Brigadier General Dov Shefi who lost his son, a father of two, in the World Trade Center attacks spoke movingly on behalf of all the families. During Chanukah he had lit the Chanukah menorah with his orphaned grandson at an event organized by CTVP. He talked about his long-time bond with Chabad that goes back to his days as a military judge and extends to the present.
At the end of the ceremony, Ambassador Shapiro thanked Rabbis Yossi Swerdlov and Menachem Kutner for their participation in this special and moving ceremony. And he praised the life-sustaining work that CTVP does on behalf of terror victims and their families.