Her inspiration keeps Naftali’s memory alive

  • Frankel RacheliHOME
Naftali Fraenkel was one of three Israeli youths brutally murdered in 2014. His mother, Rachelle, refused to succumb to the tragedy and has begun her fight to keep the “light of truth and love burning”. The sought-after international speaker will be in SA next month and will be talking to audiences in both Johannesburg and Cape Town. Her trip is being hosted by Mizrachi-SA and the Fed. Hear why this amazing speaker has addressed the UN, given countless TV interviews and talks worldwide and become a public leader and a national heroine in Israel...
by ANT KATZ | Jul 14, 2016

A major catalyst for the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict, Operation Protective Edge, was the kidnapping of three Israeli youths on June 12 of that year. That fateful day (and the subsequent discovery of their brutally murdered bodies) shocked the Jewish world and forever changed the lives of three Israeli families and their community.

Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaer, and Eyal Yifrah were normal 16-year-old teenagers getting on with their daily lives. Unfortunately, on that fateful day, their lives were cut short.

Frankel Rachel at funeral for BoysNaftali’s mother, Rachelle, has refused to succumb to the tragedy and decided instead to fight and to keep the “light of truth and love burning”. The sought-after speaker will be in South Africa next month.

RIGHT: A file picture of Rachelle at the funeral of the three murdered teens

The teens had been kidnapped and murdered by Hamas in what is widely believed to be a purposeful spark aimed at igniting an intifada in the West Bank and Jerusalem. During the search and rescue mission, communities around the world came together in prayer to “Bring Back our Boys”.

True to the indomitable Israeli spirit, Rachelle Fraenkel has since travelled the world taking a message of peace and unity with her. She has conducted herself with grace, modesty and true resilience befitting women of her calibre.

She has been invited to speak at the United Nations Human Rights Council, given television interviews, met Israel's president and prime minister and has become a public leader and a national heroine leading the Unity Day campaign globally. 

Unity Day was created by Rachelle Frankel as a day for Jewish people to unite despite their differences. It was founded following the period of mourning for her son, Naftali. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Birkat visited the grieving families and asked what could be done to preserve their children’s memory.

Frankel flyer lowRes

LEFT: The event flyer with all the required information

The movement Gesher as well as former President Shimon Peres helped endorse and support this initiative.

Rachelle and her family will be visiting the South African Jewish community next month. Hosted by the Zionist Federation and Mizrachi SA, the local community and Israelis living in the country, will get the opportunity to meet this inspirational family.

Rachelle will be speaking at various events, including a Women’s Day breakfast on August 9 and Tisha B’Av at Mizrachi Shul in Johannesburg. The family will also attend a community event in Cape Town on August 21. For more information or to attend the events, contact the SAZF offices `(011) 645-2510.


  1. 2 Michael Berk 14 Jul
    Seldom is one moved to such a degree as we were davening daily for our 3 boys to be found safe and alive.
    I was consumed with so much anger and hatred towards their captors and was moved to tears during the funeral of these young heroes.
    When I heard Rachelle speak with such strength and heart rendering words, my feelings as a parent were immediately linked with her sadness at the loss of her son.
    She is an amazing ambassador for truth and love which she eminates in her talks around the globe.
    i can't wait to meet this woman of valor in South Africa who inspires us to yearn for peace in our beloved homeland , Eretz Yisrael and to stop the innocent shedding of blood. Am Yisrael Chai .
  2. 1 Debbie Epstein 03 Aug
    Please let us know the event that Rachelle Fraenkel will be speaking at in Cape Town and all the details.  I am sure many of my friends would also be interested.  Thank you


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