Smith Joins Lakewood, NJ Community in Uniting to Support Search for Missing Student Aharon Sofer
Called on Secretary Kerry to Help Efforts
Amid family, friends and supporters of missing Lakewood student Aharon Sofer, Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04), a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today said the search for Aharon, missing in Israel since Friday, Aug. 22, continues vigorously in the hopes that he will be found and safely returned to his family.
“I was assured as late as a few hours ago by our Consul General that they are working closely with Israeli police at all levels of Israeli government to comb the Jerusalem forest,” Smith said. “It’s not all that big an area. I want the family to know that I believe that no stone is being left unturned in the effort, and to know that all of our prayers are for Aharon’s safe return.”
Smith, who represents Lakewood, led off a local community gathering today that included State Sen. Robert Singer, Ocean County Freeholder Gerry Little, Lakewood Mayor Menache Miller, N.Y. Assemblyman Dov Hikind, Rabbi Yehuda Wicentowski and other officials. Lakewood Committeeman Meir Lichtenstein read a statement from the parents.
Smith and his staff have spoken to Aharon’s father and uncle both of whom are in Israel to assist and advance the search for Aharon in and around the forest in Jerusalem where he was last seen hiking on Friday. He also met with several of Aharon’s brothers, extended family members and friends in Lakewood. He also met with one of the volunteers who scoured the Jerusalem woods looking for Aharon.
In addition, Smith sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry Monday urging that the State Department take every action to help in the effort to locate Aharon. Smith, a senior member of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, has been in contact with Secretary Kerry’s chief of staff, David Wade, and other officials who assured him that the Department was “totally committed to assisting Aharon” and his family. Click here to read the Smith letter to Kerry.