NewsPalm Beach CountyRegion C Palm Beach CountyPalm Beach


Hostage killed in Gaza was son of Palm Beach Synagogue's guest of honor

'We're all in disbelief, we're in shock, we're in pain,' Rabbi Moshe Scheiner says
Posted at 11:31 PM, Dec 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-15 23:31:26-05

PALM BEACH, Fla. — The eighth day of Hanukkah celebrations came to an end Friday at sundown with a dim ending.

"We're all in disbelief, we're in shock, we're in pain," said Palm Beach Synagogue Rabbi Moshe Scheiner after news that Israel Defense Forces mistook three Israeli hostages as a threat -- killing them.

One hostage killed was 26-year old Alon Shamriz, the son of Avraham Shamriz.

Avraham Shamriz was the guest of honor last week during Palm Beach's first day of Hanukkah celebrations.

Here's what he told WPTV reporter Joel Lopez.

"I'm hoping that in this Hanukkah he might be released because this is our holiday," said Avraham Shamriz. "

"Have you heard from him in the last two months?" asked Lopez.

Avraham Shamriz at Palm Beach Synagogue Hanukkah Celebration 12152023
Avraham Shamriz speaks about his at Palm Beach Synagogue's Hanukkah Celebration back on Dec. 7, 2023.

"No, actually they are not cooperating with anyone," Avraham Shamriz replied. "I love this community very much, but it's not complete without my son. I want him with me. I cannot sleep. I cannot eat. I'm just thinking to understand what happened to him."

He told WPTV his son was a computer engineering student who loved to smile, play basketball and watch soccer.

Scheiner said he heard from Avraham Shamriz Friday morning.

"He reached out to share the terrible news and I called but he wasn't in a state of speaking," Scheiner said.

Palm Beach Synagogue Rabbi Moshe Scheiner 12152023.jpg
Palm Beach Synagogue Rabbi Moshe Scheiner explains how he met Avraham Shamriz.

Scheiner met Avraham during a humanitarian trip in Israel and invited Avraham to the event last week.

"He said, 'My son is a strong boy, I know he's alive.' He told me he felt what he said to us and he was right," Scheiner said. "But then in a moment, what could've been a miracle, turned into an awful tragedy."

Scheiner said the synagogue will be praying for Alon Shamriz during their services this weekend, as well as for all the others still being held hostage.

"Do you have a message for the family if they may be watching?" Lopez asked.

"Avi, we love you, our hearts are broken with you," Scheiner said. "He's a brave courageous hero and his memory will always be an inspiration for all of us."