Dear Friends

We lost a gem! We are devastated. The entire community is devastated. Sean's parents love for him knew no bounds. They were so proud of him. I was speaking to one of Sean's friends who said to me 'he was my older brother, my best friend, my everything'. He continued to say 'Sean wanted to live, he loved and appreciated life more then anyone. I need Sean now more then ever.' I share these sentiments and know that all who knew him feel the same.

Our hearts go out to his parents, our dear friends Alon and Dalya and their dear daughters Gal and Or. They lost their only son today. Their only brother. The vacuum left by this tragedy will never be filled. All we can do is pray that G‑d bring comfort to his family and all who mourn him.

Sean will never be forgotten. He is a hero of the Jewish people. His legacy will live on in the good deeds, Torah and Mitzvot that are done in his righteous memory.

If you would like to donate to our Nissim Sean Carmeli Memorial Fund go to our donate page and in the details box indicate that is for Sean. 

Chabad RGV has notified the family that we will be building a Mikvah in Sean's Name: Mei Nissim - The Water of Nissim. This will be a first for our city of Mcallen and long overdue.

If you would like to help with this project you can call our office 956-467-4323 or you can donate online.

Below are pictures of Sean while spending his summers at our camp


Below are just some of my thoughts and reflections...

Sean was a smart boy, very warm, compassionate and loved by all.
He was a proud Jew.  Sean attended our Chabad overnight camp, Camp Gan Israel
South Padre Island from its first summer and all the summers following
until he was too old for the program. He was such a great kid and a
wonderful example to the other campers. He had a strong love for
Judaism and for his fellow Jews. He had great energy yet had a kind
and gentle soul.

Sean's parents made the decision to move back to Israel, where he
completed high school and went on to join the IDF where he served with
honor and distinction in the Golani Brigade.

Growing up on South Padre Island, Sean did not have the
opportunity to attend a Jewish school, yet just before it was time for him
to enter the army, Sean made a decision to spend some time in a
Yeshiva. On a visit to Israel, my wife and I met up with Sean in the old city of
Jerusalem where he was studying and he expressed to us
just how excited and happy he was to be able to dedicate this
important time in his life to study Torah, hoping that it would open
his horizons and give him the right perspective before starting his
army service and influence his life as a proud Jew.

Alon and Dalya Carmeli are proud Jews and Israelis - loved by all in their
community and beyond. They are supporters of Jewish life and education. They
were involved with Camp Gan Israel South Padre Island from its very
beginning and went on to support the work of Chabad of the Rio Grande
Valley and the Jewish community of Shoova Israel on South Padre
Island. Alon Carmeli purchased the community’s first Torah scroll and
dedicated the synagogue in memory of his father-in-law, Nissim
Buganim, after whom his son was named.

It is a close and loving family. They have warm and open home.
Community is very important to them. On South Padre Island they would
hosted large Shabbat and holiday dinners for the whole community in
their home. They also opened their to Chabad's Roving Rabbis and to
myself and my wife in our first summers on the Island.

On Purim two years ago, on a short visit to South Padre Island, Alon
and Dalya drove all the way from the island just so that Alon can read
the megillah for the Chabad community in McAllen, Texas. This is just
one anecdote that demonstrates their love for their fellow Jew.

Sean Carmeli is a hero of the Jewish people. Like Rabbi Akiva before
him, he gave his life to protect the survival of the Jewish people.
G‑d please continue to watch over our soldiers and send us Moshiach!

Sean we will miss you forever. But we will make sure that your sacrifice
will never be forgotten. Baruch Dayan Emet. May G‑d Comfort the

Rabbi Asher Hecht
Chabad of the Rio Grande Valley Texas