Remembering two Rockland residents lost in Israel tragedy

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NEW CITY – Rockland County Legislator Aron Wieder joined Congressman Mondaire Jones and State Attorney General Letitia James in paying condolences on Wednesday to the family of Shragee Gestetner, one of two local men killed in the tragic stampede in Israel. 

“It’s almost impossible to fathom the impact of this horrible, horrible loss,” Wieder said. “Eventually, we will get on with the daily activities of life, but Shragee Gestetner’s family will have to live with his loss forever.” 

Also killed was Yosef Amram Tauber from Monsey, a 19-year-old yeshiva student making his first visit to Israel. 

“Yossi Tauber was a devoted son and scholar, and his loss is also a difficult blow,” said Legislator Wieder, who knew both men. “I ask everyone to please keep the families of all who perished in your prayers.” 

The condolence call, also referred to as a shiva call, came the day after the Rockland County Legislature adjourned its meeting in memory of the men and all of the victims of the tragedy. 

“The untimely and tragic deaths are a blow to all people who cherish life,” County Legislator Itamar Yeger said. “Our hearts go out to all those affected, especially the families of the deceased taken long before their time.” 

County Legislature Chairman Alden Wolfe said it was difficult to process the tragedy.  “We are all trying to come to grips with the fact that a gathering of people so joyfully practicing their faith suddenly turned into the darkest day in Israel in decades,” Wolfe said. 

Shragee Gestetner, 33, left behind his wife and six children. Originally from Montreal, he moved to Rockland County after marrying. He lived in Airmont and was a Skverer Hasidic rabbinical scholar and singer who used to perform at large events; his music is included in the Apple iTunes, Amazon Music and Spotify catalogs. 

Yosef Amram Tauber, 19, was from Monsey and was making his first visit to Israel to study at the Brisk yeshiva. He had graduated from a local boys’ yeshiva, Meor Yitzchok, and was known as “Yossi.” His uncle said that during the pandemic, Yossi brought food to people and made calls to others who were isolated, according to published reports.