Fire destroys home of missing man from Mevo Modi'im - searchers needed

Moshe Illovitch, a husband and father of five from Moshav Mevo Modiin went missing during trip to Meron.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF, BEN BRESKY
May 31, 2019 16:36
2 minute read.
Fire destroys home of missing man from Mevo Modi'im - searchers needed

Search party forming for missing man Moshe Illovitch. (photo credit: Courtesy)

The family of Moshe Illovitch from Moshav Mevo Modi'im is appealing to the public to aid in the search for him after he disappeared two weeks ago during a visit to Meron.


The Israel Dog Unit has been conducting searches with specially trained search-and-rescue dogs together with police, family and friends.
Illovitch’s wife and five children have suffered an additional blow after their home and all of their belongings were destroyed in the recent fire that destroyed dozens of homes at the historic moshav which was founded by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach in the 1970s.

"It is very difficult. We are in a lot of pain," his wife Chaya said. "I am trying to keep myself together for my five children while continuing to search for my husband who is missing for almost two weeks."

"I was in Meron when the fire destroyed Moshav Mevo Modi'im and we lost our home and everything in it. We were literally left with the clothes on our backs. We are trying to rebuild our lives from scratch while continuing to look for Moshe," she added.
 
The IDU will be conducting a search on Sunday June 2 at 6:00 a.m. as last push to try and find him.

The family is urging anyone who might have seen him to call the command center at 054-487-6709, and to forward the flyer with his picture anywhere possible.

The head of the IDU, Yekutiel Ben-Yakov, known to his colleagues as Mike, told The Jerusalem Post "we have been searching for close to two weeks now and have no serious clues," while on the scene in Israel's north. He noted that the dogs, as well as the search party, were resting from the sweltering mid-day heat which has hit the country over the past several days.

"He was seen in Meron the Shabbat before Lag Ba'Omer," Ben-Yakov said, referring to the Jewish holiday in which hundreds of thousands visit the Tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai in the small town of Meron. Many camp out overnight in the rolling green hills.

"All his belongings were left in his tent. There are no clues," Ben-Yakov stated. "There's a lot of forests around and we are trying our best."


Illovitch's wife and children have been staying in the nearby city of Safed, in part to help with the search and in part because of the fire.

In addition to the damage in Mevo Modi'im, which left about 300 people homeless, Several thousand were evacuated from other places in the country affected by the fires that hit Israel during last week's unprecedented heat wave.

The missing man's father has flown in from the United States as well, Ben-Yakov stated.


The IDU uses not only dogs, but also drones and a special smart-phone app they created to map out the area and connect the rescue teams.


"We will use all the tools at our disposal to try and find him," Ben-Yakov stated. "Sunday will be our major effort especially in the cooler hours when we can search more effectively. We have other emergency and security working with us."


Those interested in participating in the search or who have more information are urged to call 054-487-6709.

https://donate.thechesedfund.com/cause/the-ilovitz-family-of-7-needs-our-help-father-is-missing-and-the-family-home-burnt-down-in-the-israeli-forest-fires


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