Family of Jewish teens killed in Sri Lanka to start charity in memory

April 29, 2019 08:50
1 minute read.
A blood-spattered statue of Jesus Christ inside St Sebastian's Church in Negombo, Sri Lanka April

A blood-spattered statue of Jesus Christ is pictured while crime scene officials inspect the site of a bomb blast, as the sun shines through the blown-out roof, inside St Sebastian's Church in Negombo, Sri Lanka April 21, 2019. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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(JTA) — The family of two British-American Jewish teens killed in a terrorist attack in Sri Lanka are planning to set up a charity in their memories.

Amelie and Daniel Linsey, 15 and 19, were among the hundreds murdered in terrorist attacks targeting Christians in the south Asian island nation on April 21. The teens were vacationing with their father, Matthew, who survived the attack on their hotel.

The family is setting up a foundation to benefit the hospital in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo where the teens were taken.

“My dad suggested calling it ‘Love Is The Answer’ after his and my sister’s favourite song,” their brother David Linsey told the Daily Mail. “My dad had a particularly close bond with my sister. She was always a daddy’s girl.”

The Islamic State claimed responsibility, without evidence, for the coordinated bomb blasts at churches and hotels that killed some 250 people and wounded hundreds.

David Linsey said that the family, who live in London, decided to start a charity because the teens were involved in philanthropy.

“My brother spent some time last year helping in a village in Ethiopia. His passion is people and places,” he said of his late brother Daniel.

In the interview David Linsey also spoke about the family’s faith. Though their mother is Catholic, the siblings were brought up Jewish, like their father.

“There wasn’t a war of traditions,” David Linsey told the Mail. “We celebrate Hanukkah. We celebrate Christmas as well. Everyone acknowledges each other’s faith. We’d always drop my mother off at church on Christmas Day.”

The Linsey teens were eulogized Wednesday in the British Parliament during a tribute to the eight British nationals killed in the attacks.

“While the intended target of this atrocity were clearly meant to be Christian, the terrorists’ bombs did not discriminate,” lawmaker Howard Leigh said in the House of Lords. “The Linsey family were members of my synagogue. They shared the same classes as my children. Amelie celebrated her bat mitzvah last March, reading with poise, maturity and warmth from our Torah scrolls.”

Leigh is president of the Westminster Synagogue in London.

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