THOUSANDS OF mourners filled the Ben Shemen Military cemetery on Tuesday afternoon for the funeral  of 23-year-old former JFS student Nadav Ezra, writes Lisa Sanders.

Sergeant Ezra, who made aliyah from north London with his family in 2007, was crossing a busy junction not far from his family’s home  in Modi’in, when he was reportedly hit by a car. A Hatzalah paramedic who was nearby rushed to the scene, but the ambulance team was unable to save him.

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Ex-JFS student Nadav Ezra

“I held you at your brit milah,” Nadav’s grandfather, Rabbi Maurice Michaels, vice-president of the Movement for Reform Judaism, said in his eulogy.

He reminded mourners that Nadav had hoped to study architecture. “We won’t know what you would have built,” continued Rabbi Michaels.

Mala Ezra, Nadav’s mother and former deputy headteacher of Mathilda Marks School, spoke of her son’s first breath.

“Why wasn’t I there when you took your last?” she asked, supported by her husband, Ahouviel, and their three younger children and surrounded by Nadav’s fellow soldiers and former school friends.

A three gun salute marked the end of the funeral. Mourners filed away from the pitch-dark forest cemetery to the strains of David D’Or’s iconic song, Tishmor al HaOlam, Yeled (“watch over this world child”).