Burlington residents react to deaths of Israeli boys - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Burlington residents react to deaths of Israeli boys

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News of the deaths of three Israeli boys has sparked both sorrow and outrage in the Jewish community. It's a pain that can be felt more than 8,000 miles away, all the way in Burlington, Vermont.

Danit Rozman lives in both Burlington and Israel. She said Tuesday evening’s vigil was a funeral, “for each and every one of us.” Rozman heard of the boys' deaths when she arrived in America and stepped off a plane Monday.

That pain brought the Jewish community together Tuesday evening at the Burlington Waterfront to mourn the deaths of the three teens. The Israeli government has blamed their deaths on the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

"This was really news that shook me to my core, and it made me feel instantly like I wanted to be there,” said Sharon Silverman, who organized the vigil.

Leaders from UVM's Hillel Center organized the event and in a matter of just a few hours got more than 75 people to join in.

"One thing we can do is come together and show that support for the families,” said Matt Vogel, Hillel’s director.

"It feels like these three boys were members of my own family, and it hurts like the kind of pain you feel if you're own brother gets taken and shot in the head,” Rozman said.

Organizers say no matter the distance between Vermont and Israel, they want those suffering to know they are not alone in their grief.

"We're thousands of miles away from Israel but people here still feel the loss as strongly as people there,” Vogel said. “This came together in about 30 minutes and had a very rapid response because people needed something like this.”

Members from both local synagogues and UVM's Hillel Center spoke at the vigil, reading from the Torah and reciting hymns of praise. Silverman says she hopes the vigil will lead to more community events, not just in times of sadness, but times of joy, as well.

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