The Education Ministry announced on Tuesday it would expand the therapeutic and educational envelopment for students in the education system and specifically in the yeshivas where the three murdered Israeli teens, Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrah and Naftali Fraenkel, studied.

Michal Cohen, director-general of the Education Ministry, instructed the ministry’s staff to extend educational and psychological counseling, as well as to provide assistance and backup to the management at the Mekor Haim Yeshiva at Kibbutz Kfar Etzion where Shaer and Fraenkel studied. The ministry announced that schools in Talmon, Nof Ayalon, Elad and other communities located in the area would remain open and provide emotional support to students in need.

Depending on the needs of these communities, the ministry will enhance the activities designated for pupils in third through to fifth grades in the School of Summer program, the ministry said.

The ministry’s youth and society division is scheduled to hold support and relaxation activities in these communities in coordination with the community’s leadership, youth organizations and informal education frameworks.

“The abduction of the three youths touched an entire country, and naturally, children and teenagers felt emotionally involved,” the ministry said, adding that it would continue to “take responsibility” for its students at this difficult time.

An appeal was issued to teaching staff in the education system to communicate with students and provide them with necessary support, depending on their circle of affiliation with the case.

The psychological counseling service at the Education Ministry relayed instructions and advice to teachers and counselors in addressing the murders.

“In places where there is summer-vacation activity, address the issue at the beginning of the day. It is advisable that the issue be addressed in small groups and not in large gatherings,” said Dr. Yochi Siman Tov, director of stress management and emergency counseling services at the Education Ministry. “In other places, it is important that educators contact their students, express interest in their experiences, and invite them to turn to them when they feel the need. It is important to start by providing information about the facts in a simple manner, while adapting the level of exposure to the age level and circle of involvement,” she said.

The Education Ministry and the Israel Association of Community Centers announced they will remain open throughout the week to provide support and dialogue circles to those in need.

On Tuesday, the IACC called on the general public to light candles in memory of the murdered teens in community centers across the country. “We bow our heads during this difficult time for all the people of Israel. We all felt a shared fate with the families and would like to enable those who were unable to attend their funerals to participate in their grief and strengthen them,” Aviad Friedman, chairman of the board of the IACC, said on Tuesday.

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