July 2, 2014 at 11:34 pm

Metro Detroiters join mourning for Israeli teens killed in West Bank

Rabbi Aaron Bergman, left, observes Howard Brown, Jeannie Weiner and Douglas Bloom light candles Wednesday during a service for teens Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Fraenkel and Gilad Shaar at Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington Hills. The discovery Monday of the teens' bodies in the West Bank and the killing of a Palestinian teen Wednesday have sparked clashes in the Mideast. (Steve Perez / The Detroit News)

The Metro Detroit Jewish community gathered Wednesday evening at Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington Hills for a memorial service for three slain Israeli teens, whose bodies were discovered in shallow graves in the West Bank on Monday.

The service drew about 1,000 people who lit candles, recited prayers and sang the Israeli national anthem.

Since many Jews in the area have connections to Israel, news of the deaths was “very crushing,” said Allan Gale, associate director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, who attended the service.

“What happens in Israel is very important to most Jewish Detroiters. … When there’s a tragedy, people come together.”

The discovery of the bodies of the teens, Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Fraenkel and Gilad Shaar, who were kidnapped June 12, as well as the killing of a Palestinian teen Wednesday sparked clashes in the Mideast.

The latest killing prompted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to call for a swift investigation into the “reprehensible murder” and called on people to respect the rule of law.

While Wednesday’s service called for remembrance of the dead, Gale said, it also aimed to reflect on seeking peace and stability overseas.

“We would hope that injuries and deaths on both sides are diminished,” he said.