Rabbi Bob Mark and his congregants at the Clifton Jewish Center felt that it was important to honor Advanced Staff Sgt. Maj. Hayil Satawi, 30, and Advanced Staff Sgt. Maj. Kamil Shnaan, 22. They were the two Druze police officers killed by terrorists at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in July.
On September 26, Israel’s deputy consul general, Amir Sagie, and Police Commander Yitzchak Almog, Israel’s police attaché to North America, came to Clifton, and Rabbi Mark presented them with the funds the shul community had collected. A third check went to the officer who was severely wounded in the same attack.
Most of the officers who protect the Old City are not Jewish, and so Rabbi Mark felt it even more important to honor them and their sacrifice.
Eric Mark, Rabbi Mark’s son, read a statement from the families. “In the past year our families have suffered greatly from the loss of Kamil and Hayil. They fell while protecting Jerusalem in July 2017. It has been a heavy and difficult loss from the beginning. From then on we were wrapped in love and special warmth from the many Jews in Israel and abroad, wonderful people who have shown the world their splendor and their glory. Israel is the Jewish national home and we the Druze protect and will continue to protect her. Your love and support helps us in mourning and gives us the feeling that our sacrifices have not been in vain. Be healthy and strong with us, We love you! Thank you for this initiative, thank you for thinking about us, thank you for your love. Thank you for continued Jewish Druze cooperation. To celebrate the Jewish New Year, I want to thank you all for standing by our side, may all of you have a blessed year a meaningful year, full of love and success. We will continue to march together in the pursuit of life. May all of you and your households be blessed.”
Rabbi Mark will continue to accept donations for the Druze families until mid-December, when he will go to Israel to deliver them personally. Checks can be made out to CJC Rabbis Fund; the memo line should say Druze. No funds are deducted for expenses or travel. Checks made out to CJC are tax deductible.