Fund for girl orphaned in accident on Yom Kippur almost halfway to goal

A fund launched to help an Israeli girl living in Florida who was hit by a car on the way to Yom Kippur services was, as of Sept. 25, nearly halfway to its goal of raising $150,000.

The funds will be used to help the girl’s rehabilitation from the severe injuries she sustained, and to pay funeral expenses for her mother, who was killed in the same accident. Orly Ohayon, 16, and her mother, Esther, 57, were struck while walking to the Etz Haim Synagogue in Mandarin, a Jacksonville suburb, for Kol Nidre services. Esther Ohayon died at the scene; her body was sent to Israel for burial. Orly remains in critical condition in the intensive care unit at the University of Florida Health Hospital after undergoing surgery on Sept. 21, but was making progress, according to the fundraising website established by her cousin, Karen Brown.

As of Sept. 25, the fund at raised more than $65,000.

Relatives of Esther Ohayon told the Israeli news website Ynet that she was planning to return to Israel once her daughter graduated. Esther Ohayon was predeceased by her husband.

Orly is a regional board member of the National Council of Synagogue Youth and had attended an NCSY program this summer. NCSY is coordinating a donation and prayer campaign. — jta