Hundreds of people took part in the Friday morning funeral of Ya'akov Don, the 49-year-old educator from Alon Shevut who along with an 18-year-old American and an Arab bystander was murdered in a shooting attack in Gush Etzion on Thursday night.
Taking part in the funeral was Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud), and Rabbi Shlomo Riskin of Efrat who is the chair of the Ohr Torah Stone chain of institutions, including the Derech Avot high school in Efrat where Don worked for many years as an educator and social education coordinator.
"You were murdered by animals because you're Israeli and because you're a Jew. Oy, what an Israeli you were, what a Jew you were," eulogized Ya'akov's grieving brother at the funeral.
Ya'akov Stern, a staff member at the high school, said, "Don's presence in the school was so deeply felt. There isn't a student who didn't merit a smile from him, even if they didn't directly study in his class. He always found the straight path to one's heart. Students drew from him the most important path in life – to find the good and the beautiful in everything."
"In dealing with any problem, when we got off on the wrong foot and thought there's no solution – Ya'akov would come with his mischievous smile and his rolling laugh that filled the hallways, and would calm you and roll with you in hardships and in joy."
Yinon Ahiman, director of the Ohr Torah Stone chain, described Don as "a loving and beloved man with a warm and eternal smile, who always created a good atmosphere around him and gave strength to all those around him. We mourn the great loss."
Don leaves behind his wife Sarah and his children Aviad (21), Maor (19), Yedidya (17) and Racheli (13).