After hours of emergency surgery, a 14-year-old boy from the Philadelphia area, whose one leg was crushed and the other nearly severed by a fallen boulder while on a visit to the tomb of the prophet Samuel, is in a Jerusalem hospital in stable condition.

Menachem Mendel Strasberg, whose parents, Rabbi Eli and Rivkah Strasberg, co-direct the Chabad “Living Legacy” program, aimed at bringing Jewish observance alive for children through hands-on workshops and other activities, was with a group studying in Israel at the tomb in Jerusalem last Thursday night when the incident occurred.

Doctors at Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital performed 10 hours of surgery on both legs on the night of the accident, indicating that further procedures and treatment will be needed to ensure the use of his limbs. In the incident, in which a large piece of rock suddenly fell on him, one of his legs was crushed and the other nearly severed.


Over the week, the doctors upgraded his condition from critical to stable.

To help relieve the family of current and future medical costs not covered by insurance, a fundraising campaign has been launched under the direction of a group of Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries from the Philadelphia area, including Rabbis Moshe Brennan, Yossi Kaplan, Yudi Shemtov and Shraga Sherman.

“The story is still unfolding, and the extent of the financial burden on the family is still unknown,” said an online page established for the fundraising effort. “What we do know is what lies ahead—costs for medical treatment and specialized care, and other needs that Menachem Mendel will have that will need to be dealt with. This is in addition to the expenses needed to care for a large family while both parents rushed to Israel to be with their son.”

About $75,000 of a goal of $100,000 from more than 900 contributors had been raised by late Wednesday.

To assist in the effort, visit the funding page here.