As names and pictures of the victims from the Mount Meron tragedy emerged on Friday, and some families rushed to bury their dead before the start of the Sabbath, others were still frantically trying to establish whether their loved ones were among the victims.
By Saturday night, at least 42 of the 45 confirmed victims of the tragedy had been identified and their families informed. But the identification process was ongoing, and the task of naming all the victims and informing all the families was expected to be protracted.
Officials said they were conducting multiple checks to ensure that there would be no mistakes. By Saturday night, 34 bodies had been released to their families for burial.
At least two families lost multiple children.
Some families learned of their loved ones’ deaths on WhatsApp, according to Channel 12 news, which cited an unnamed woman who learned of her 33-year-old brother’s death in a group about efforts to locate the missing. She told the network she had not yet been contacted by any official source.
Among the victims were people whose families live overseas, further complicating the process. Six of the victims held US citizenship and one was from Argentina. Two were Canadian.
24-year-old Menahem Zeckbach of Modiin Illit was buried on Friday afternoon in his hometown of Bnei Brak. He is survived by his pregnant wife and their 1-year-old child.
23-year-old Simcha Diskind of Beit Shemesh was buried on Friday in Haifa. He is survived by his wife and two young children.
Rabbi Shraga Gestetner of Montreal, Canada came to Israel specifically for the Lag B’Omer celebrations. He was buried in Jerusalem on Friday afternoon; with no immediate family present in Israel to attend the funeral, hundreds who did not know him heeded a call to attend.
A member of the Skverer Hasidic sect, he is survived by his wife and five children. In recent years he had been living in Monsey, New York.
38-year-old Shimon Matalon of Beitar Illit is survived by his eleven children.
13-year-old Yedidia was from Bnei Brak. He came to the event with his family.
33-year-old David Krauss from the city of Beit Shemesh is survived by nine children.
Moshe Bergman, 24, was originally from Manchester, England. He was studying in the Mir Yeshiva and living in Jerusalem.
Haim Rock, 19, was from the central city of Beit Shemesh.
24-year-old Yisrael Anakvah from Beit Shemesh is survived by his two children.
Eliyahu Cohen, 16, was from Beiter Illit.
Hanoch Slod, 52, was from Ashdod.
Elazar Mordechai Goldberg
Elazar Mordechai Goldberg, 37, of Beitar Illit is survived by his four children.
Moshe Ben Shalom
20-year-old Moshe Ben Shalom was from Bnei Brak.
Yedidya Fogel from Jerusalem studied in a yeshiva in the central city of Ramat Gan.
Rabbi Yonatan Hebroni was a father-of-three from the city of Givat Shmuel.
Moshe Mordechai Elhadad, 12, and Yosef David Elhadad, 18, were residents of Jerusalem.
Moshe Natan Neta Englard, 14, and Yehoshua Englard, 9, were from Jerusalem.
Haim Seler, 24, of Jerusalem is survived by his wife and 2-week-old daughter.
Yehuda Leib Rubin
Yehuda Leib Rubin, 27, was from Beit Shemesh.
Shmuel Zvi Klagsbald
Shmuel Zvi Klagsbald, 43, is survived by eight children.
Yaakov Elhanan Strikovsky
Yaakov Elhanan Strikovsky, 20, was from Elad.
Yosef Amram Tauber
Yosef Amram Tauber, 19, of Monsey, was a student at the Brisk yeshiva. A relative said that he left for Israel to attend the yeshiva “for the first time last week.”
Daniel (Donny) Morris
Donny Morris, 19, from Teaneck, New Jersey. Donny had been attending the event with a group from the Shaalvim Yeshiva where he was a student.
Moshe Levy was 14-years-old, from Bnei Brak.
Yosef Yehuda Levy
Yosef Yehuda Levy was 17, of Rekhasim near Haifa
Nahman Kirshbaum, 15, was from Beit Shemesh.
Ariel Tzadik was 57-years-old, from Jerusalem.
Rabbi Eliezer Tzvi Joseph
Rabbi Eliezer Tzvi Joseph, 26, was a father of four from Kiryas Joel, New York. A Satmar Hasid, he was the father of four children.
Abraham Daniel Ambon
Abraham Daniel Ambon, 21, was an Argentine studying at a yeshiva in Jerusalem.
Dubi Steinmetz, 21, was from Canada.
Yishai Mualem, 17, was from Rekhasim near Haifa
Yosef Mastorov, 18, was from Ramla.
Yosef Greenbaum, 22, was from Haifa.
Elazar Yitzchok Koltai
Elazar Yitzchok Koltai, 13, was from Jerusalem. He had lived in Passaic, New Jersey, before moving to Israel with his family.
Menachem Knoblowitz, 22, of Borough Park, Brooklyn. He was engaged to a young woman from Lakewood, New Jersey, according to social media.
Elkana Shiloh, 28, was a resident of Jerusalem.
Elazar Gefner, 52, a resident of Jerusalem.
Yossi Kohn, 21, of Cleveland, Ohio, was a student at the Mir Yerushalayim yeshiva.
Shlomo Zalman Leibowitz
Shlomo Zalman Leibowitz, 19, a resident of Safed.
Moshe Tzarfai, 65, was from Jerusalem. He is survived by four children, 25 grandchildren.
Ariel Achdut, 20, was from Jerusalem.
Doron Hen, 41, was a resident of Holon.