Friends say Rabbi Sandler was 'warm, generous'

Sandler, who was among those killed Monday in a shooting in France, studied at kollel in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood.

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March 20, 2012 01:46
2 minute read.
Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, killed in Toulouse shootin

Rabbi Jonathan Sandler 370. (photo credit: HANDOUT)

Friends and associates of Rabbi Yonatan Sandler, who was murdered with two of his children on Monday morning as well as 8-year old Miriam Monsonego, spoke of his warm, friendly and generous character and praised him for his commitment to his students and their education.

Rabbi Aharon Getz, a friend and study partner of Sandler’s at the Zichron Shimon Kollel in Har Nof, Jerusalem, where he studied said he was one of the most friendly people he knew.

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“While he was here, he was deeply involved in helping out French students who were visiting and studying in Israel,” Getz told The Jerusalem Post.

“His home was always open for them to stay for Shabbat, to host Torah lessons during the week and was someone who the kids trusted to talk to and help them with any problems they have had.”

Sandler, born in Paris in 1981, studied at the Ozar Hatorah school as a child. He came to study in a yeshiva in Jerusalem’s Bayit Vegan neighborhood before returning to France to marry.

He then came back to Israel where he studied for another four years in the Zichron Shimon Kollel, which prepares its rabbinical students for work in the field of Jewish education abroad. Sandler, along with his family, returned to Toulouse several months ago, to teach for two years at the school where he himself had studied as a child.

“He told me how excited he was to go back to Toulouse and the special mission he felt he was going there for,” Getz continued.

“But he also had a clear plan to come back to Israel. It is so tragic, someone who wanted to give so much, to give to the community from which he received, to be taken away in this manner.”

Sandler’s sons, six-year-old Aryeh and three-and-a-halfyear- old Gavriel, were also killed in the attack. He is survived by his wife and fouryear- old daughter.

Rabbi Rachamim Sabag, a teacher in the Ozar Hatorah school, described Sandler as a humble person who worked hard, was extremely dedicated to his outreach work and would also travel long distances to teach university students outside of Toulouse.

Ephraim Teitelbaum, a community activist in Toulouse, told the Post that the whole community was in shock.

“It’s a very tough situation, obviously,” he said. We’re upset, we’re angry but we are not afraid.”

Chief Rabbi of Toulouse Avraham Weill said that Sandler was much loved, and worked tirelessly for his students and for their Jewish education.


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