NEW YORK (VINnews) — Hershy Weiss, a 20-year-old yeshiva student who was tragically killed in a plane crash last week in the Ukraine, has been fondly remembered for his kindness towards the family of a man he helped care for during the coronavirus pandemic. Weiss, who died together with two other friends in a crash in Western Ukraine last Wednesday, was a native of Golders Green, London and volunteered in the Kisharon organization for children with learning disabilities.
During the last two summers he cared for a Down’s Syndrome boy named Yechiel Yosef Rothschild, who lived in Kisharon’s supported accommodation and tragically passed away from coronavirus this year at the age of 20. He is thought to be British Jewry’s youngest victim of the virus.
Hershy was well remembered for his kindness towards Rothschild, who was known affectionately as YY.
“He was [YY’s] carer two summers ago. He was a very special person, always looking to help others,” said YY’s brother, Yanky.
A spokesperson for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development office said officials were in touch with Hershy’s family to offer support at this difficult time.
“We are supporting the family of a British man who has died in Ukraine, and are also in touch with the local authorities,” said a spokesman.
“Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.”
Weiss, who studied at the Mir yeshiva in Jerusalem, had been visiting the Ukraine to tour Jewish holy places in the country. He was accompanied by Lazer Brill and Avromi Framowitz of New York, who both died in the fatal crash. The three were laid to rest in their respective countries before Shabbos after ZAKA arranged for their bodies to be flown in.
ZAKA COO Haim Weingarten said in a statement on Friday that “after many efforts by the International ZAKA Unit, in cross-continental cooperation with ZAKA representatives in Israel, the United States, London and Ukraine, together with Chabad emissaries in Ukraine, we obtained a waiver for the autopsy and approval for the burial of the bodies of the three yeshiva students killed in the plane crash.
“Within a few minutes of receiving the report at the ZAKA hotline in Israel, a local team of ZAKA volunteers from Ukraine had already left for the scene to deal with the deceased with dignity and the findings at the difficult scene,” Weingarten said.