It was the tragedy that united concerned families around the world: Anybody with children, anybody who knew someone with children, spent hours glued to televisions and computer screens waiting for news about missing 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky.

Now, one week after their only son’s burial and amidst police investigations into the so-called “Butcher of Brooklyn” who murdered him, New York City residents Nachman and Itta Kletzky want people the world over to perform “acts of unity and loving kindness” to keep the memory of their angelic boy alive.

“We thank G‑d for the nearly nine beautiful years that He entrusted us with Leiby’s pure soul,” the Chasidic couple announced in a statement released by the Judaism website “Many of you have asked us what you can do now in Leiby’s memory and how you can help us find comfort. Looking back at Leiby’s all-too short years among us, here are a few ideas.

“Let us perpetuate the feeling of collective responsibility and love expressed during the search for Leiby,” they continued. In addition, “when you wake up each morning take a few moments to pray and reflect, and thank G‑d for giving us life.”

They went on to request Jewish women to light Sabbath candles on Friday nights and for all people of goodwill to donate to a memorial fund,, “to channel the loving kindness shown to us and our dear Leiby toward many, many others in need.”

Special Section: Leiby Kletzky

According to Rabbi Zalman Bluming, co-director of Chabad-Lubavitch serving the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University, the Kletzkys have been deeply touched by the outpouring of support that has come in from Jews and non-Jews, religious and secular alike. Bluming delivered a packet of 25 letters written by members of his local Jewish community to the family when he visited them on Tuesday, their last day of the traditional mourning period known as shiva. Though he didn’t know the family personally, he knew them only “like every other member of the Jewish people.”

“We spoke for a few minutes,” related Bluming. “I asked the father what he wanted people to do for his child?”

Leiby’s father responded that what gave them comfort were the stories they had heard of ordinary people doing things specifically in his son’s merit, such as a local boy who decided to wear a biblically-mandated fringed garment known as tzitzit. While the act itself was important, what mattered was the person’s commitment to bring an added measure of goodness to the world.

In communities near and far, people have been drawn to this unassuming Jewish family in Boro Park and have felt the loss of their only son as their own pain. A Jewish family in Miami earlier this week named their son after the murdered boy, and websites and Facebook pages have all drawn support from a welling-up of worldwide Jewish brotherhood unseen perhaps since the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

“The pain was so searing for everybody,” said Bluming. “People really want to do something. They’re grappling with how to cope. Usually in tragedy you have something to point to, someone to blame. You can point to a divorcing family, or poverty. Here, we don’t have a comfortable culprit.

“And on the most basic human level,” he continued, “there’s a Jewish child torn from our midst. That’s enough to tear anybody’s hearts open.”

For them, the Kletzkys have a message of thanks and of hope.

“We would like to once again thank all our friends and neighbors; all the selfless volunteers from near and far; local, city, state, and federal agencies; and all our fellow New Yorkers and beyond who assisted us physically, emotionally, and spiritually – as well as all of G‑d’s children around the world who held our dear Leiby in their thoughts and prayers,” they said. “We pray that none of you should ever have to live through what we did. But if any tragedy is to ever befall any of you, G‑d forbid, you should be blessed with a community and public as supportive as ours. We feel that through Leiby we’ve become family with you all.

“May Leiby’s soul live on as a blessing inside each and every one of you.”

To read the full text of the Kletzky Family’s statement, click here.