Perm Jewish Community Loses Family In Plane Crash

Perm Jewish Community Loses Family In Plane Crash

Eliyahu Nakhumov, who died with his parents and sister in the Aeroflot plane crash.

Perm, Russia

September 15, 2008

( The Perm Jewish community is in grief over the loss of a local family of four, killed among the 88 victims of Sunday's Aeroflot 737 plane crash.

Ephraim and Golda Nakhumov, and their two young children were members of the Chabad community of Perm. Eliyahu, their seven-year old was enrolled to begin first grade this week at the Chabad community school, and his four year old sister Chava was a kindergartner in the Chabad preschool.

“The community is traumatized by this catastrophe in which an entire family has been killed,” Perm's Chabad's representative, Rabbi Zalman Deutch told

Monday morning the city’s governor met with Chabad rabbis and community leaders to pay his condolences. The principal of the Ohr Avner school addressed the students at a memorial ceremony. Children lit candles and listened to the shofar blasts, traditionally sounded during the month before Rosh Hashanah, its plaintive wails echoing the somber sadness that prevailed. The principal also spoke with the children about thinking about becoming involved in a project that will keep the Nakhumov children alive in the memory of their friends and community, Mrs. Sara Deutch said.

The flight, en route from Moscow to Perm, crashed near the Ural Mountains as it prepared to land. Authorities believe that the right engine failed, causing the plane to explode while still in the air. Its remains are scattered across 10 kilometers near the outskirts of the city.

Hardly any human remains could be recovered from the crash. It will take weeks, said Rabbi Deutch, for DNA testing on the charred remains that were gathered, so with no burials for the dead, “rabbinic authorities have ruled that immediate relatives of the Nakhomov’s should begin to sit shiva immediately. “

The family had been visiting relatives in Azerbaijan last week.  

Twenty one foreigners and seven children were reportedly among those killed in the crash, the worst in the country in the last two years. The airline has promised to pay victims’ families two million rubles ($77,800). 

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