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June 19, 2014 1:16 pm

Kidnapped Israeli Teen’s Cousin to Hold White House Vigil

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Yaalon meets with parents of kidnapped teens (courtesy Israel Ministry of Defense)

Yaalon meets with parents of kidnapped teens (courtesy Israel Ministry of Defense)

Times of Israel – Manny Halberstam got the call after Shabbat ended late Saturday night. Although he had heard before the Sabbath about three young Israelis who had been kidnapped while hitchhiking near Alon Shvut in the West Bank’s Etzion Bloc of settlements, he had gone through the day without knowing that one of them was Naftali Frankel, a cousin he had gotten to know during his year of study in Israel.

Frankel is Halberstam’s second cousin – their grandmothers are sisters – and the family in Israel and in the US keep in contact. When Halberstam, 25, took a year off between his undergraduate education and law school to study in yeshiva, he joined his Israeli family – including then-13-year-old Frankel, at a number of family events where he got to know the teenager more closely.

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