These Are the 45 Victims of Israel's Lag Ba'omer Stampede

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A funeral of one of the victims of the Mount Meron tragedy, last night in Jerusalem
A funeral of one of the victims of the Mount Meron tragedy, last night in JerusalemCredit: Emil Salman

Most of the 45 victims of the stampede at Israel's Mount Meron were identified by Saturday evening. Among them were 13 minors, including two pairs of brothers.

All were men or boys, and many of the men had multiple children.

The victims of the Mount Meron disaster.

Tens of thousands of Hassidic Jews participated on Thursday in the annual Lag Ba'omer festivities at the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, making it the largest event held in Israel since the coronavirus pandemic broke out last year. The stampede was caused after some revelers slipped on steps, causing dozens more people to fall over. Forty-five people were killed and more than 150 were injured in the deadly event. 

The victims who were identified as of Sunday morning were: Menachem Asher Hacohen Zakbach, 24, of Modi’in Ilit; Hanoch Slod, 52, of Ashdod; Shimon Matalon, 37, of Beitar Ilit; Moshe Ben Shalom, 20, of Bnei Brak; brothers Yehoshua and Moshe Engelard, 9 and 14, of Jerusalem; Haim Seller, 24, of Jerusalem; and brothers Moshe Mordechai and Yosef David Elhadad, 12 and 18, of Safed.

Also killed in the disaster were Yaakov Elhanan Strakovski, 20, of Elad; Nachman Kirschbaum, 15, of Beit Shemesh; Rabbi Eliezer Goldberg, 37, of Beitar Ilit; Rabbi Yehuda Leib Rubin, 27, of Beit Shemesh; Shmuel Klugsbald, 43, of Beitar Ilit; Eliahu Cohen, 16, of Beitar Ilit; Simcha Bunim Diskind, 23, of Beit Shemesh; Yosef Yehuda Levi, 17, of Rechesim; Yishai Mualam, 16, of Rechesim; David Kraus, 33, of Beit Shemesh; Chen Doron, 41, of Holon; Israel Alnekave, 24, of Beit Shemesh; Haim Rak, 18, of Beit Shemesh; Elkana Shiloh, 28, of Jerusalem; Yonatan Hevroni, 27, of Givat Shmuel; Yedidya Fogel, 22, of Jerusalem; Elazar Gefner, 52, of Jerusalem; Yosef Mastorov, 17, of Ramle; Yedidya Hayut, 13, of Bnei Brak; Elazar Yitzchak Koltai, 13, of Jerusalem; Ariel Tzadik, 56, of Jerusalem; Yosef Greenbaum, 22, of Haifa; Moshe Levi, 14, of Bnei Brak; Ariel Achdut, 20, of Jerusalem; Moshe Tzarfati, 65, of Jerusalem; Mordechai Paketeh, 24; Shlomo Zalman Leibovitz, 19, of Safed.

Several of those killed lived abroad: Shraga Gestetner, 35, of Montreal, Canada; Eliezer Tzvi Joseph, 26, of Monroe, New York; Menachem Knoblowitz, 22, of New York; Daniel Morris, 19, of New Jersey; Yosef Cohen, of Cleveland, U.S.; Yosef Amram Tauber, of the United States; Moshe Bergman, 24, of Manchester, U.K.;  Avraham Daniel Ambon, 21, of Argentina; and Dov Steinmetz, 21, of Montreal, Canada.

Funerals for some of the victims began Saturday evening as Shabbat ended.  

Disaster struck on Thursday night when some revelers at the site stumbled on the stairs. Many lost their footing, fell on top of one another, crushing the victims. 

Panic sparked attempts to escape, only exacerbating the situation, as hundreds who were trapped tried to find a way out.

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