The Bnei Akiva youth organization in Christchurch, New Zealand, is conducting a fund-raising appeal on behalf of the Canterbury Hebrew Community, a synagogue damaged in the country’s recent earthquake. The synagogue, according to its web site, is “closed until further notice.”
The Bnei Akiva appeal is endorsed by the Auckland Hebrew Congregation and the New Zealand Jewish Council. The 250-member synagogue suffered structural damage in the earthquake, but “the building is repairable,” Garth Cohen, president of the Auckland Hebrew Congregation, wrote in an open letter. While no members of the Christchurch congregation were killed or seriously injured in the tremors, “there are at least a handful of families whose homes have been completely destroyed. Others … hve lost most of their possessions to damage, flooding and liquefacation.”
Donations to the Bnei Akica Christchurch Appeal Fund can be made through the Bank of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand, SWIFT code BKNZNZ22, ABA# 021 000089; or care of the Auckland Hebrew Congregation, 108 Greys Ave., Newtonm Auckland, New Zealand 1010, Account number 02-0100-0017176-000.
Two bodies of two Israelis, Ofer Levy and Gabi Engel, 22-year-olds from Rehovot, were found in Christchurch Tuesday by New Zealand search and rescue personnel, Israeli officials confirmed. The families were notified Tuesday morning in Israel.
A spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Wellington confirmed that two other Israelis, reportedly from Dimona, remain unaccounted for, although one was last sighted on the north island. Neither has contacted his family since the disaster