(JNS.org) Ezra Schwartz, a Massachusetts native who was killed in a November 2015 Palestinian terror attack during his pre-college gap year in Israel, was posthumously inducted into the Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) international Jewish fraternity Sunday at New Jersey’s Rutgers University.
Schwartz, who was planning to attend Rutgers, was on his way to deliver food to Israeli soldiers in the Etzion Bloc junction when terrorist Mohammed Abdel Basset al-Kharoub opened fire on a line of traffic with an Uzi submachine gun. The 18-year-old Schwartz, 51-year-old Israeli teacher Yaakov Don and 24-year-old Palestinian resident of Hebron Shadi Arafa were killed in the attack.
In a ceremony coinciding with Israel’s Memorial Day for fallen soldiers and terror victims, Schwartz was inducted as an honorary member of the fraternity he never had the chance to join.
“It means a lot,” said his father Ari Schwartz, MyCentralJersey.com reported. “It really does. It seems like the entire world has reached out to us in order to support us through this tragedy. AEPi’s gesture today is another example of that. I very much appreciate the gesture of inducting me into AEPi as well.”
Ari Schwartz added that Ezra, who was accepted into the school’s business program, was excited to attend Rutgers because “he wanted a big school with a strong Hillel and a strong sports program,” and that the prospective student’s bond with Rutgers was “instantaneous.”
“That’s part of the reason why we feel so good about this permanent connection with Rutgers,” he said.